(UPDATE) Re: Greek Parliamentary Election
New Democracy and Pasok may not have 151 seats needed to form a coalition government. Left is calling for anti-bailout coalition. Stick it to the creditors (European banks)... Read Zero Hedge.
First, the French presidential election, headline at France 24:
Socialist Hollande beats Sarkozy to win French presidency
Socialist Party challenger François Hollande has beaten incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in a tight run-off election to win the French presidency with 51.9% of the vote to Sarkozy’s 48.1%, Ipsos exit polls show.
Greeks are voting in parliamentary polls, with the country's two mainstream parties expected to lose support to anti-austerity candidates.
The centre-left Pasok and centre-right New Democracy parties have been in coalition since last November.
They are both expected to suffer due to opposition to the austerity measures imposed by the government in exchange for international bailout funds.
No single party is expected to gain a majority.
A range of smaller parties looks set to benefit, from the communists to the anti-immigrant, far-right Golden Dawn party, he adds.
"I am going to vote one of the small parties. I have had enough of ND and Pasok," one voter, psychology student Maria, told the AFP news agency. "Ever since I was born people have just voted for them."
Some polls indicate that Golden Dawn could gain more than 5% of the vote and enter parliament for the first time.
In his party's closing rally on Friday, Pasok leader Evangelos Venizelos said Greeks faced a choice between continuing with the austerity programme in order to stay in the eurozone and "mass poverty".
New Democracy's leader Antonis Samaras said the Left was "playing games with the country's European future".
New Democracy is expected to emerge from the poll as the largest party, but with only around 22% of the vote.
Pasok, which has been governing in coalition with New Democracy since last November, has been in second place in opinion polls with around 18%.
Left-wing parties opposed to the terms of the bailout deal have collectively scored around 30% in opinion polls.
European equity markets have been somewhat discounting these outcomes, but decidedly not the US equity market which has been floating higher on hopium on declining volume.