The spatial distribution of the ‘NO’ vote in the Greek Referendum on the 5th of July 2015

Abstract

The aim of this short working paper is to look at the geography of the ‘NO’ vote in the referendum that took place in Greece on the 5th of July 2015. The 2015 referendum was about accepting or rejecting a draft agreement proposed by the EC, ECB and IMF for the completion of the Economic Adjustment Programme between the above institutions and the Greek government. The result of the referendum was an unexpected (based on the polls) ‘NO’ vote majority (61.31%). The spatial variation of the ‘NO’ vote is quite interesting since it does not follow the expected urban-rural divide. In touristic areas, especially Crete and the Ionian islands, the share of the ‘NO’ vote was even higher than that in the whole country. It is also apparent from the analysis that the ‘NO’ vote is positively associated with the proportion of voters who cast ballot at the prefecture level of geography. After looking at the absolute ‘NO’ vote, this is the share of all eligible voters who voted for ‘NO’, only in one Prefecture -the Heraklion in Crete- this share was above 50%. Had postal vote been available to Greek voters, especially to the Greek Diaspora, perhaps the result of the 2015 Referendum would have been different.

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