If you thought for a moment that the Greek election would end in a clean outcome tonight, the joke was on you.
In the first wave of exit polls that came out at 12:00 PM ET, the pro-bailout, conservative New Democracy party held a razor thin 0.5% lead over the leftist SYRIZA party.
Then an hour and a half later, it became clear that New Democracy would come in first, and that it (along with PASOK) would have enough seats to garner a majority in the Hellenic Parliament.
This is the outcome that markets have most wanted to see, as New Democracy and PASOK have generally signalled a willingness to go along with the current bailout path, and not buck the rest of Europe. The leftist leader Alex Tsipras, on the other hand, had threatened to tear up the bailout agreement (though he had always promised not to leave the Eurozone).
So at first it all seemed good… but then around 9:00 PM in Athens, word came that the leader of PASOK, Venizelos, was threatening to withhold support for a new government unless SYRIZA also joined as part of a broad coalition.
Exclusive: Secret EU summit document shows first step to banking union
Greece will have to leave EMU whoever is elected
Dithering Europe is heading for the democratic dark ages
G20 nations set to boost IMF firewall
Overseas markets jump after Greek vote eases fears
12:02 pm EDT, June 18th, 2012 — The Greek Vote, Germany Bashing And The Forgotten Reforms
12:03 pm EDT, June 18th, 2012 — Euro Will Ride Out Greek Election But Not Failure in Spain and Mexico
12:04 pm EDT, June 18th, 2012 — Democracies can’t live in perpetual stimulus
12:05 pm EDT, June 18th, 2012 — It’s Harper vs. Europe as G20 debates IMF plan
12:06 pm EDT, June 18th, 2012 – Greece faces race against time to form coalition government
12:07 pm EDT, June 18th, 2012 — A Glimmer of Hope for Greece
12:08 pm EDT, June 18th, 2012 — Relief as Greece’s pro-bailout parties win slim victory
12:09 pm EDT, June 18th, 2012 — The bottom line of the Greek elections
12:10 pm EDT, June 18th, 2012 — G20 to press Europe for lasting fix for debt crisis
12:11 pm EDT, June 18th, 2012 — Greek election, debt crisis and G20 Summit: Live
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]GREECE: Conservatives Win The Vote, But There's Still No Government (15),