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Greek voters return Alexis Tsipras to power with strong win

Greek voters returned Alexis Tsipras to power with a strong election victory on Sunday, ensuring the charismatic leftist remains Greece’s dominant political figure despite caving in to European demands for a bailout he once opposed.

With about a quarter of votes counted, Tsipras’s Syriza party was on course to claim 35.3 per cent of the vote, easily seeing off his main conservative challengers New Democracy on 28.1 per cent.

The interior ministry said that would give him 144 seats in the 300-seat parliament, just five fewer than when he first stormed to power early this year. New Democracy swiftly conceded defeat.

A Syriza source said the party would turn once again to the small right-wing Independent Greeks party to form a coalition, restoring the alliance that first brought Tsipras to power nine months ago.

He called the election last month when his party split over his reversal on the 86 billion euro bailout, which he had accepted despite having won a referendum mandate to reject similar terms.

Tsipras expects to form a government within three days, another party source said.

“The electoral result appears to be concluding with Syriza and Mr Tspiras in the lead. I congratulate him and urge him to create the government which is needed,” New Democracy’s leader Vangelis Meimarakiis said.

Third place in the election looked set to go again to Golden Dawn, a far right party with a swastika-like symbol, with around 7 per cent of the vote.

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