The results of Greece's second election have given far-right Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) a clear mandate to enter Parliament with 18 seats. Party leader Nikos Michaloliakos proclaimed "we are the party of national opposition."
Golden Dawn's claim to be the party of national opposition had already been staked by Alexis Tsipras, who likewise announced that SYRIZA would be the strong opposition party in parliament. Nevertheless Golden Dawn recovered its position from pre-election polls which projected just 12 parliamentary seats, securing almost 426,000 votes.
The final polls on June 1 showed support for Golden Dawn had dropped from seven to four percent, yet the party rallied following the incident during the Papadakis show when Ilias Kasidiaris assaulted two female leftist politicians. In fact support in Atticus, the constituency represented by Kasidiaris, increased. Golden Dawn's Dimitris Koukoutsis had told supporters that the incident had resulted in a resurgence of support for the party.
A number of recent incidents also contributed to support for Golden Dawn, including the murder of a pharmacist last week and the arrest of a Greek student who shot an Albanian burglar who had broken into his mother's home and held a knife to her throat. Whilst some reports have alleged that Golden Dawn is responsible for the increase in recent attacks on migrants, ordinary Greek citizens feel under attack by a crime wave which Golden Dawn stands up against.
Ta Nea reported Michaloliakos, on hearing the results, said "the Golden Dawn is here to stay. Gentlemen and ladies, you lost. "
During Sunday's elections armed, masked men attacked a polling station in Athens, setting fire to the ballot box and hospitalizing two policemen. Ta Nea reports that the arsonists were bikers with Golden Dawn flags.
If a government can be formed from the again inconclusive election results, there is no expectation than Golden Dawn will be invited to participate in a coalition government, but will remain on the periphery. It has however won six more seats than the Communist KKE party, and with 18 seats outnumbers the Democratic Left which won 17 seats.