1958 Greek legislative election

Parliamentary elections were held in Greece on 11 May 1958.[1] The result was a second consecutive victory for Konstantinos Karamanlis and his National Radical Union, which won 171 of the 300 seats in Parliament.

1958 Greek legislative election

← 1956 11 May 1958 1961 →

All 300 seats in the Hellenic Parliament
151 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  KaramanlisNatsinasAgora crop.jpg Pashalidis Iv.jpg Sophoklis Venizelos, 1921.png
Leader Konstantinos Karamanlis Ioannis Passalidis Sofoklis Venizelos
Party ERE EDA Liberal
Seats won 171 79 36
Popular vote 1,583,885 939,902 795,445
Percentage 41.16% 24.43% 20.67%

Prime Minister before election

Konstantinos Karamanlis
ERE

Prime Minister after election

Konstantinos Karamanlis
ERE

BackgroundEdit

Karamanlis took the decision to call for early elections, after some of the most prominent members of the National Radical Union defected from the party, including George Rallis and Panagis Papaligouras [el]. Although Karamanlis could have a parliamentary majority, he preferred to go for elections, in order to achieve a renewed public support.

The pretext of the defection was a new electoral law that Karamanlis passed. Rallis was opposed to the law, thinking that it is going to be extremely favorable for EDA, a party believed to be linked with the then-banned Communist Party of Greece.

The outcome of the results proved that Rallis' "fears" were justified. EDA became the second biggest party, outvoting a divided centre.

Just after the elections Karamanlis formed a new government, taking back in his party the defectors.

ResultsEdit

PartyVotes%Seats+/–
National Radical Union1,583,88541.16171+6
United Democratic Left939,90224.4379
Liberal Party795,44520.6736
Progressive Agricultural Democratic Union408,78710.6210New
Union of Populars113,3582.954New
List of Independents4,0090.100–2
Independents2,3390.060–1
Total3,847,725100.003000
Valid votes3,847,72599.58
Invalid/blank votes16,1970.42
Total votes3,863,922100.00
Registered voters/turnout5,119,14875.48
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

AftermathEdit

The unexpected rise of EDA, barely nine years after the end of the Greek Civil War, sent alarms through the right-wing establishment, and measures were taken to combat the emergent "communist threat", including the division of the large urban electoral districts of Athens, Piraeus and Thessaloniki so that the left-voting areas would be separated (forming the Athens B, Piraeus B, etc. constituencies), as well as the establishment of a dedicated domestic security agency, the General Directorate of National Security.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p830 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7