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21 June, 2024
 
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ELAM's surge is shaking up Cyprus politics

Far-right faction's ascent sparks concern among established parties

Newsroom

According to a report today by Marina Economidou in this Sunday's Kathimerini, with Cyprus gearing up for elections, the surge of the far-right party ELAM has become a central focus, particularly as it threatens to displace DIKO from its third-place position. In a recent survey conducted by Symmetron Market Research for "K," ELAM currently holds third place with 10.7% of the vote, closely followed by DIKO at 9.1%. While the margin is slim, ELAM's significant rise underscores its potential to secure a seat in the European Parliament.

ELAM's Emergence Alarms Established Parties

ELAM's ascent not only secures its position in the European Parliament but also poses a challenge to established parties, which now find themselves losing ground to the far right. The party's gains have intensified competition, prompting heightened scrutiny and opposition from major players like DISY, DIKO, and EDEK. Surprisingly, while DISY is often presumed to be the main source of ELAM's support, recent findings suggest otherwise. ELAM appears to draw significant support from parties within the so-called intermediate space, particularly on issues like immigration, blurring traditional party lines.

Provincial Strength and Voter Profile

ELAM's stronghold appears to lie in Limassol, where it garners 12.7% of the vote, followed closely by Famagusta and Larnaca. However, its support in Paphos remains relatively weaker at 6.7%. Analysis of ELAM's voter demographics reveals a predominantly male and younger base. The party struggles to sway older demographics but resonates strongly with younger voters, signaling a generational shift in political preferences.

Euroscepticism and Protest Voting

ELAM's supporters reflect a sense of discontent and anger, using their vote as a form of protest. Many express dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs in Cyprus, with immigration and accountability emerging as primary concerns. Despite ELAM's nationalist rhetoric, the party's supporters show limited interest in the Cyprus issue, instead expressing strong Euroscepticism and skepticism towards EU institutions.

The Battle for the Seat

As ELAM secures its place in the European Parliament, attention turns to the battle for individual seats. Geadis Geadis, ELAM's press spokesman, leads the pack with 46% of ELAM voters' support, followed closely by former DISY vice-president Marios Pelekanos. Notably, the inclusion of established political figures in ELAM's ranks does not seem to resonate strongly with its base, who prefer staunch party loyalty over individual candidates.

Conclusion

ELAM's rise marks a significant shift in Cyprus' political landscape, posing challenges to established parties and signaling evolving voter preferences. As the nation prepares for elections, all eyes remain on ELAM's trajectory and its impact on Cyprus' political future.

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