In Greece the ruling coalition saw its support fall sharply and head to hard left and hard right parties who oppose the conditions imposed upon the country by its recent EU/IMF bailout. The conservative New Democracy and Socialist PASOK, who have dominated Greek politics for decades, won less than 40 percent of the total vote combined according to exit polls. This would mean they cannot form another coalition and it will be very difficult for either party to do business with the two big winners of the election.
The Left coalition, which could claim second place in the poll and beat the socialist PASOK party into third place, was the big winner of the vote and will be unwilling to form a government that does not attempt to renegotiate the terms of Greece’s bailout with the EU and IMF [cnbc explains] .
Ahead of the vote its leader Alexis Tsipras told the Observer Newspaper in the UK that "Merkel should worry and Europe should hope in us."
“If the politics of austerity continue, Europe is in big danger of breaking up. These policies are causing unhappiness, unemployment and poverty, as in the 1930s. Europe needs social solidarity and not to work according to market laws."
The big parties will also find it difficult to deal with the far right Golden Dawn Party which won between 6-8 percent of the vote and will now enter the Greek parliament, the first time such a party has sat in the building since the fall of Greece’s military dictatorship in 1974
If a majority coalition cannot be agreed upon, then Greeks are likely to have to go back to polls before the summer is out, adding huge uncertainty to the euro zone at a time when Spain’s debt problems already has the market on edge.
It is not all about France and Greece this weekend. In the UK late last week, local elections made life very difficult for David Cameron’s coalition government and offered hope to Ed Miliband’s left wing opposition Labour Party. Cameron’s Conservatives won 31 percent of votes at a national level and his coalition Liberal Democrats won just 16 percent. Divisions are appearing among lawmakers who are now very worried of losing their seats in a general election.
As one right wing member of Cameron’s team called for someone to challenge his leadership before the year is out, the UK Chancellor, George Osborne, used an interview on the BBC and an op-ed in the Mail on Sunday to get back on message following weeks of bad press on everything from Rupert Murdoch to the National Health Service.