Sunday, June 16 2024

Greeks Go To The polls For The European Elections 

european elections

Today, Sunday 9 June, the European elections 2024 are taking place in Greece and those who did not vote by letter are invited to go to the polling station where they vote and exercise their right to vote. However, with the mercury still soaring today, many are talking about a "ballot box-beach" battle as they fear that the abstention will be large, with people choosing to cool off on a beach rather than go to vote. It is recommended, however, that citizens prefer the ballot box as these elections are important.

HDN Newsroom

With today's elections, Greece selects its 21 new MEPs for the five-year period 2024-2029. Given that there are more than 1,100 candidates on the European lists of the 31 parties participating in the process, only 1.8% of them will be elected!

A party receiving at least 3% is a prerequisite, but not a guarantee, for a seat in the European Parliament.

The sum of Greek representatives in the European Parliament did not change despite the fact that in the meantime the increase of total seats – from 705 to 720 – was approved. In other words, our country now accounts for 2.9% of the full composition of the leading body in the European Union.

What has been modified within the walls is "the modernization of the method of election" as it is now characterized by Law 5083. It is the law of the Ministry of the Interior that was passed at the end of January and, among other things, set the conditions for exercising the right to vote by postal vote.

Article 5 of 5083, through paragraphs 3 and 4, replaced Article 6 of 4255/2014 and provides for the new formula for the distribution of seats. A bit complicated, but – for the initiators – clearly fairer and even more "proportionate" than in the past.

This is because the following paradox is completely avoided: one party with a lower percentage wins more seats than another with a higher one. Correspondingly, the best performing parties are favoured - at least to a certain extent.

In order to secure the right to participate in the distribution of seats, it is necessary to obtain 3% of the valid ballot papers.

If a party or coalition of associated parties fails to reach this level of votes, it is excluded from the procedure and, according to the law, "is not entitled to a seat of a member of the European Parliament".

Of course, the 3% threshold is only a prerequisite and not a guarantee of the election of an MEP. The number of parties and their final percentage will determine exactly how the available seats in Brussels and Strasbourg will be distributed.

In accordance with paragraph 4a. Before the allocation of seats, the whole part of the quotient of the division of the total number of valid ballot papers received throughout the territory by the eligible formations shall be taken into account.

Simply put, the "magic number" that everyone is looking for results from the sum of the percentages of those parties that managed to reach 3%, not on the total number of valid ballots. As was the case in 2019.

Under the previous provision, the electoral measure was obtained by dividing 100 to 21 (4.76). Now the electoral measure is not fixed, it decreases and as a variable is determined on the night of the European elections – not earlier, as the percentages must first be formalized.

As a result, the number of seats each party will win in the European Parliament stems from the percentage it won nationwide divided by the aforementioned electoral measure. That is why 3% does not necessarily guarantee a seat.

It is also stipulated that once the first allocation is completed and there are still unallocated seats, these are distributed one by one to those parties that have unused balances.

A new electoral measure ceases to be counted and the start is made by the combination with the upper balance.

If two parties have an equal unused percentage, the one with the overall highest percentage in the country takes precedence. If there are still unallocated seats after the second allocation, they shall be secured by the lists which obtained the most votes.

Based on the latest poll by Metron Analysis on behalf of Mega, presented on Friday night in the main news bulletin, the 3% prerequisite threshold is exceeded by a total of ten parties:

New Democracy with 32%
SYRIZA with 15.5%PASOK with 12%
Greek Solution with 8.5%
KKE with 7.5%
NIKI with 4.5%
Freedom Sail with 4.5%
MeRa25 with 3
%Nea Aristera with 3%
Voice of Reason with 3%

The sum of these percentages gives -the very high- 93.5%. As a result, the electoral measure rises to 4.45.

Under this condition, the seats would initially be divided as follows:

After the first distribution, five seats would remain unallocated, going to the parties with the highest unused forces. The treaty would favour Ellysi, PASOK, KKE and the "small ones".

Since it was not numerically possible for all parties to secure a seat in the European Parliament, which of the three respondents to the 3% threshold would win the battle by electing an MEP would be determined by their exact percentage and position in the final ranking. Hence 0 as 1 seat.

If any of MeRa25, New Left or Voice of Reason did not exceed the bar and ended up falling outside 3%, then the electoral measure would fall to 4.31. In this scenario, all nine parties within the threshold would elect at least one MEP, without affecting the other correlations.

The answer will be given definitively tonight on Sunday, just before midnight (Greek time).