Conservatives beat Tsipras in Greek vote: exit polls | AFP

Greece’s conservative New Democracy party has defeated Greek leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Sunday’s general election, exit polls showed. Supporters of Greek leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras watch with growing dissapointment as a combined survey by Greece’s main TV stations showed New Democracy leading Tsipras’s Syriza party by an average of 40 percent to 28.5 percent. IMAGES

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Election favourite Mitsotakis arrives at party headquarters | AFP

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, leader of the conservative opposition party in Greece, who is expected to oust leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in the first national election of the post-bailout era, enters the headquarters of his party, New Democracy. IMAGES

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New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis holds rally in Athens | AFP

New Democracy leader and Greek election frontrunner Kyriakos Mitsotakis holds a rally in Athens ahead of Sunday’s general elections. IMAGES

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The Establishment Politician Trying to Win Back Greece

Greece is poised to do something increasingly rare in Europe these days: elect an establishment politician as their next prime minister.

Despite presiding over a fragile economic recovery, Greeks appear to have grown tired of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza party, and are looking to shake things up during this Sunday’s legislative election.

All signs indicate Kyriakos Mitsotakis of the centre-right New Democracy party will come out on top.

If those projections hold and Greeks end up choosing the 51-year-old Mitsotakis on Sunday, voters won’t just be voting for a fresh face, they’ll be ushering in a return to establishment politics.

Unlike Tsipras, who rose to power on a wave of anti-establishment sentiment and anger towards the EU, Mitsotakis represents Greek political aristocracy. His father Konstantinos was Prime Minister between 1990 and 1993.

“I think society realized that electing populists into power is not a solution to underlying economic problems. So essentially what is happening is the pendulum is swinging in the opposite direction,” he told VICE founder Shane Smith during an interview at the New Democracy party headquarters in Athens.

He’s not shy about his establishment credentials either. One of Mitsotakis’s main campaign planks is convincing Greek’s that his financial stewardship can spur renewed confidence in the Greek economy, and lead the lenders who bailed out its economy to the tune of 240 billion euros over eight years to ease their strict requirement that Greece maintain a budget surplus of 3.5 percent.

“The key challenge is to restore high growth rates,” Mitsotakis said. “If the economy grows faster, our creditors are going to be happy because the debt is going to be repaid more easily.”

And to get the economy growing at a faster rate Mitsotakis is appealing to young Greek who left the country during the financial crisis to return.

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