Left-wing Greek leader Alexis Tsipras looks set to return to the the helm for a second term after taking a strong lead in the Greek snap election.
By Monday morning (AEST), 50 per cent of the votes had been counted, with Mr Tsipras’s Syriza Party winning 35.54 per cent, while its main conservative competitors, the New Democracy Party, were on 28.07 per cent, the ABC reported.
The Greek Interior Minister predicted that would give Mr Tsipras 145 seats in the 300-seat parliament, five fewer than when he first came to power earlier in 2015.
“The road of hard work and struggle lies ahead,” Mr Tsipras said in a tweet.
New Democracy Party leader Vangelis Meimarakis conceded defeat.
“It appears that Mr Tsipras’ Syriza is first, I congratulate him,” Mr Meimarakis said.
Third place in the election looked set to go again to Golden Dawn, a far right party with a swastika-like symbol, with about 7 per cent of the vote.
At Syriza Party headquarters, Mr Tsipras, 41, was greeted with a huge round of applause by supporters.
Mr Tsipras earlier on Sunday (local time) declared he was confident of winning a second mandate to reform and revive the nation’s economy after a first tumultuous seven months in power.
He said, after casting his ballot, that voters will elect “a fighting government” ready for the “confrontations necessary to move forward with reforms”.
European parliament president Martin Schulz posted on Twitter, urging the Syriza Party to deliver a “solid” government to be formed quickly in Greece, calling on the new authorities to be “ready to deliver”.
Winner of a January general election, with 36.34 per cent of the vote, Mr Tsipras resigned in August and called a snap election, with hope that crisis-weary Greeks would give him a new mandate despite his controversial austerity deal with European leaders.
After winning office on an anti-austerity ticket, he agreed in July to more punishing austerity for the nation in exchange for its third financial rescue in five years.
He later argued he had effectively saved Greece from a chaotic exit from the eurozone.
The move alienated many Syriza supporters and split the party, with a fifth of its anti-euro hardline MPs walking out, forcing Mr Tsipras to call the election.
Mr Tsirpas sought a mandate to implement a three-year bailout adopted by the country’s parliament last month – a divisive decision that led to the toppling of his government.
– with AAP