Incumbent Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades topped the ballot in today’s first round election, winning 35.5 per cent of the votes on a much-reduced turnout. The conservative former leader of Democratic Rally (DISY) will be joined in the run-off on Sunday 4 February by Stavros Malas, an independent backed by the island’s communist party, AKEL, who finished five points behind.
This relatively close margin contrasts with the first round of the 2013 race, when Anastasiades beat Malas by 45 to 27 per cent, before going on to win the run-off by 15 percentage points.
In what was effectively a three-horse race, Nicolas Papadopoulos of the centrist Democratic Party (DIKO) underperformed many expectations to finish third with just under 26 per cent of the vote. DIKO leader Papadopoulos had won the backing of three smaller parties, the social democrats of EDEK, the Greens and the conservative Solidarity Movement.
For only the second time the hard-right National Populist Front (ELAM) contested a presidential election in Cyprus, with their leader Christos Christou winning 5.7 per cent support, up from 0.9 per cent in 2013. Another five candidates, three of them independents, shared the remaining 3 per cent of the votes.
Turnout at just under 72 per cent was low by Cypriot electoral standards, being some 11 percentage points down on first round participation in 2013.
Every opinion poll published since September 2017 had placed victor Anastasiades in the lead, with voting intention scores generally in the low 30s: an average that he outperformed today. In contrast the polls were more divided on who would take second place, with a number of late surveys in January giving that prize to Papadopoulos, who in the end fell short by four and a half per cent to Malas at the ballot box.
CYPRUS PRESIDENCY 28 January 2018
First round, total votes and per cent
Five year term
Nicos Anastasiades (DISY – Democratic Rally) 137,268 votes or 35.51%
Stavros Malas (Independent/AKEL) 116,920 or 30.24%
Nicolas Papadopoulos (DIKO – Democratic Party) 99,508 or 25.74%
Christos Christou (ELAM – National Popular Front) 21,846 or 5.65%
Giorgos Lillikas (SYPOL – Citizens’ Alliance) 8,419 or 2.18%
Andreas Efstratiou (Independent) 845 or 0.22%
Charis Aristidou (Independent) 752 or 0.19%
Michalis Minas (OAD – Justice Party) 662 or 0.17%
Christakis Kapiliotis (Independent) 391 or 0.10%
Eligible voters: 550,876
Votes cast: 395,949
Valid votes: 386,611 (97.64%)
Turnout: 71.88% (2013: 83.14%)
Full results on the Cyprus Ministry of Interior website here.
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