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Early exit polls in Greece show top two parties in tie

Greece could be set for more coalition talks as second election looks set to bring another stalemate.

A polling booth in Greece earlier today.
A polling booth in Greece earlier today.
Image: Nikolas Giakoumidis/AP/Press Association Images

IN AN ELECTION crucial for Greece, Europe and the world, early exit polls this evening show the two top contenders in Greece to be neck-and-neck.

The outcome of today’s vote could determine whether Greece remains in the euro or is forced to leave the joint currency.

The exit polls showed that the conservative New Democracy party is projected to win between 27.5 and 30.5 per cent of the vote while the anti-bailout radical left Syriza party may get 27 to 30 per cent.

Syriza head Alexis Tsipras has vowed to cancel the terms of Greece’s international bailout deal and repeal its austerity measures – a move many think will force Greece to leave the 17-nation eurozone. New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras says his top priority is to stay in the euro but renegotiate some terms of the bailout.

Whichever party comes first in Sunday’s vote gets a bonus of 50 seats in the 300-member Parliament.

Inconclusive elections on May 6 resulted in no party winning enough votes to form a government, and coalition talks collapsed after 10 days. The vote, which also sent the formerly governing socialist PASOK party plunging to historic lows, sent a very clear message that Greeks have lost patience with the deep austerity imposed in return for the bailouts.

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Separately, Greek police were investigating the discovery Sunday of two unexploded hand grenades outside private Skai television station on the outskirts of Athens. Greek government spokesman Demetris Tsiodras denounced the action as an attempt to spoil the smooth running of the elections.

Police also said they have notified Twitter about a forged message purportedly sent out by Greece’s Communist Party urging voters to cast their ballots for Syriza.

Strong winds in the Greek archipelago also forced the cancellation of some ferry routes Sunday, raising doubts about whether some voters would be able to get to island polling stations.

Everything you need to know about today’s crucial election in Greece

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