By John Carr
Greek voters on Sunday were faced with a stark choice: go and vote, or spend this scorchingly hot day at the beach.
But many seem to have managed both, as today’s general election is expected to hand a defeat to the leftwing government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, and propel his opponent, the centre-right Kyriakos Mitsotakis, into the prime minister’s office tomorrow.
Mitsotakis’s New Democracy party has been ahead in the polls for many months, supported mainly by the small business class devastated by excessive taxation and continuing austerity. Mitsotakis is pledging lower taxes and more wealth-creating investment – and a crackdown on growing crime and anarchist delinquency.
Tsipras called this snap election six weeks ago after losing heavily to New Democracy in European Parliament and local elections. Polls so far show him trailing Mitsotakis by at least eight points.
Not surprisingly, both leaders urged their followers to prefer the polling booth to the beach. The first exit poll results are expected in the early evening. And the turnout could well determine whether or not Mitsotakis gets a governing majority.