The first opinion polls of 2023 are almost identical to the last polls of 2022, which were similar to those at the start of 2022.

Does this noteworthy stability mean that the result of the election is foreordained?

No, because we do not hold elections due to an athletic spirit or to see which party garnered a greater percentage.

We hold them to decide who will govern the country.

By all appearances, even though the electoral predominance of the ruling party is not disputed, the results will be marginal as far as the objective of one-party rule after the second successive general election, which the PM is considered certain to call if he fails to garner a parliamentary majority in the first.

In the final analysis, everything will count, and certainly the result of the first general election, which will determine the measure of mobilisation in the second one.

Obviously, voter turnout will play a serious role, as will the number of parties that pass the three percent threshold to enter Parliament, and the number of votes for parties that do not manage to make it into the legislature.

Naturally the far right vote, regarding which there has been an entirely hypocritical public discussion, will also play a role.

Many proclaim that they do not want top former neo-Nazi Golden Dawn MP Elias Kasidiaris’ new party to enter Parliament, but they drag their feet with various pretext when it comes time to take legislative measures to avert that prospect.

Most likely, they hope that the presence of the far right and even its entry into parliament will block New Democracy from garnering a parliamentary majority. That would be an extremely opportunistic approach and a dangerous choice.

In that sense, all projections are risky.

Although the lead in the polls of New Democracy may not be disputed, no one can know if at the end of the electoral road it will be enough to secure a stable government.

Certainly, no one should underestimate electoral or post-electoral reshuffles. Elections always have various distinct repercussions, but under current conditions there is no prospect of an electoral alliance in sight.

Even if it could be forged, it would be so traumatic that it would be difficult for it to endure.

In that sense, we are headed toward the paradox of elections in which many will presume who the victor will be, but which will have an uncertain or borderline result.

From that perspective, in the long road toward the second general election, every detail will count.

That obviously includes the far right vote.

I.K. Pretenteris