LONDON — THAT?S ALL FOR TONIGHT on this tense Greek election, which some had feared could lead to Greece leaving the eurozone. To recap:
-New Democracy, the pro-bailout conservative party, won a narrow victory over Syriza, the radical leftists who are in favour of dropping Greece?s huge EU-IMF bailout.
-Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras has said his leftist anti-bailout party will not join a coalition government.
-Pro-bailout parties have enough votes to form a government and negotiations are likely to get under way on Monday to form a coalition as world financial markets also deliver their verdict. AFP?s coverage from Greece will continue.
2022 GMT: My colleague Daphne Benoit in Athens says the celebration party for New Democracy supporters in Syntagma Square was rather muted.
Fewer than 100 cheerful militants gathered to greet Samaras, who was surrounded by reporters.
"The majority of Greek people are very suspicious, very hesitant. They wait and see what the new policies will be before being optimistic about the future and I understand", said Spiros Stamoulis, 26, one of the supporters.
1954 GMT: That declaration from Tsipras means there will be a lot of Greeks whose opinions are not represented by whatever government emerges.
The discontent felt by many Greeks is therefore likely to continue -- will this spill over into fresh unrest?
1950 GMT: Some more now from that press conference by Alexis Tsipras, leader of the anti-austerity leftist Syriza party, where he conceded defeat.
He made clear that the party would not be joining any unity government.
"We will be here as the opposition, we represent a majority of people opposed to the bailout deal," he said.
1946 GMT: The global financial markets will be opening up again for the week in a matter of hours and it will be intriguing to see how they react.
Despite the New Democracy victory which is good for Greece's prospects of staying in the eurozone, uncertainty about the shape of the coalition still remains.
1931 GMT: SYRIZA LEADER TSIPRAS SAYS HE HAS CALLED SAMARAS TO CONGRATULATE HIM ON VICTORY
1927 GMT: There has been a sudden flurry of comments from some of the key players in this election, so let's go back to the earlier remarks by the leader of socialist party Pasok.
Evangelos Venizelos said he was ready to form a coalition with New Democracy but only if other leftist parties were included.
"A government of national responsibility should include at least New Democracy, Pasok, the Democratic Left and Syriza," Pasok leader Venizelos said. "No decision can be taken without this national unity."
1925 GMT: Some more on that press conference from Samaras. He said Greece would remain "anchored" in the euro and called on political parties which shared New Democracy's objectives to join forces. He added that New Democracy was "determined to do what it takes and do it fast."
1922 GMT: "THIS IS A VICTORY FOR ALL EUROPE": SAMARAS
1919 GMT: SAMARAS SAYS GREEKS HAVE "VOTED TODAY FOR THE EUROPEAN FUTURE OF GREECE AND GREECE REMAINING IN THE EUROZONE"
1918 GMT: GREEK SOCIALISTS SAY READY TO SUPPORT COALITION BUT ONLY WITH OTHER LEFTISTS
1916 GMT: New Democracy official Dora Bakoyannis has told AFP in Athens that the party wants to form a "government of national unity." Talks are expected to start Monday.
1914 GMT: TV pictures show a mass of photographers and camera crews surrounding Samaras as he arrives for the press conference.
1912 GMT: AFP's Daphne Benoit says that Samaras is expected to hold a press conference soon. A crowd of his supporters supporters have gathered in Syntagma Square in Athens waving flags and celebrating.
"We are happy, New Democracy is the only real Greek party," said one of them, Savas Kosanidis. "Antonis Samaras is very clever, he will try to change the memorandum."
1902 GMT: The leader of New Democracy Antonis Samaras looks to have been tonight's big winner, so let's find out a bit more about him, courtesy of AFP's John Hadoulis in Athens.
Samaras is seen as a tough negotiator who has pledged to hold talks with other European leaders to secure more favourable bailout terms for Greece, with more emphasis on growth.
He has also pledged to take a tougher stance on illegal immigrants. A Harvard-educated economist, Samaras is descended from one of Greece's top families and is the great-grandson of Penelope Delta, one of the country's most famous children's authors.
1841 GMT: The prospect of New Democracy and Pasok teaming up is an interesting one.
The pair of them have been the dominant parties in Greek politics in recent times. New Demcracy's leader Antonis Samaras is an ex-foreign minister who approved Greece's 2010 bailout -- though only after holding out for some time. So both are very much establishment parties, in stark contrast with Syriza.
1836 GMT: Separately, the estimate says that the anti-bailout Syriza is on track to secure 27.1 percent of the vote -- 72 seats.
1834 GMT: So if New Democracy can broker a deal with Pasok, they will have a majority.
New Democracy is on course to get 29.5 percent or 128 seats in parliament, according to the official estimate. Meanwhile, Pasok would get 12.3 percent of the vote -- 33 seats.
1824 GMT: PRO-EURO PARTIES HAVE ENOUGH VOTES FOR MAJORITY, FIRST OFFICIAL ESTIMATE SAYS
1822 GMT: FIRST OFFICIAL ESTIMATE SAYS PRO-EURO NEW DEMOCRACY WIN ELECTION
1812 GMT: Westerwelle's timing is intriguing. Many Greeks feel Germany has been too strict in imposing the terms of the bailout which has led to painful austerity measures hitting everything from healthcare to pensions.
German tabloid newspaper Bild underlined the tensions ahead of the vote by running an open letter telling Greeks their ATMs had euros in them only because "we put them there."
1807 GMT: German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has just indicated Greece could get more time to achieve the reforms required under that huge bailout.
He told ARD public television that while there cannot be "substantial changes" in the terms of Greece's bailout, "I can imagine we discuss again a delay" in hitting targets.
1751 GMT: If it is correct that New Democracy is edging ahead, there will be a huge sigh of relief from eurozone leaders including Angela Merkel. Merkel, leader of Europe's largest economy Germany, said Saturday that it was "extremely important" for the country to toe the line on the bailout.
While New Democracy wants to renegotiate elements of the deal, its demands are nowhere near as radical as those of Syriza, who has vowed to rip up the EU/IMF bailout on Monday if he wins.
1742 GMT: We are now getting more details of exit polls, this time with all exit poll votes in. These figures put New Democracy on 28.6 to 30 percent, Syriza on 27 to 28.4 percent and socialist party Pasok on 11 to 12.4 percent.
1734 GMT: Let's look again at the economic background to this election, which Greek newspapers have described as the most important since the end of military rule in 1974.
The country has sought two bailouts for its economy, in 2010 and earlier this year, drawing international assistance worth a total of 347 billion euros ($439 billion). Although the bailouts were crucial for the economy, they have left many Greeks fed up with the tough austerity cuts which accompanied them.
1716 GMT: A tense wait for Greeks, as well as politicians watching around the world. AFP's Catherine Boitard in Athens reports that politicians from all parties have now hit the TV studios and are launching fierce debates about the significance of what has happened in today's election. Gripping Sunday night viewing for voters.
1702 GMT: AFP's Daphne Benoit reports that Golden Dawn leader Nikos Mihaloliakos has been speaking to Skai television in Greece as the exit polls emerge. "You have lost... we will continue to fight you," he said, addressing the party's opponents.
1649 GMT: In a more cheerful development for Greeks, the country's football team is dedicating its success in Euro 2012 to the troubled nation. AFP's Jonathan Fowler in Serock, Poland, reports that midfielder Kostas Katsouranis has spoken after yesterday's 1-0 defeat of Russia, which carried Greece through to the quarter-finals.
"We wanted to give everybody back home something to cheer, to celebrate," the player told reporters. "Everybody in Greece -- even our families, our friends, our brothers, our cousins, everyone -- is having a really hard time."
1645 GMT: More exit polls are likely to be published around 1700 GMT, which could give us a clearer picture.
1635 GMT: More coming through on how Golden Dawn, the neo-Nazi party, performed. The early exit polls put the party, whose leader denies the Holocaust, on between six and 7.5 percent of the vote. It scored 6.97 percent in May's elections.
One of Golden Dawn's MPs, Illias Kasidiaris, assaulted two female deputies on live TV earlier this month -- but is now pressing charges against his victims, claiming they insulted him.
1626 GMT: Another voter interviewed by Daphne voiced relief that the figures indicated Syriza had not won. New Democracy voter Nondas, 21, said: "We're not really happy but we are relieved because opinion polls had Syriza winning."
1622 GMT: AFP's Daphne Benoit in Athens has been speaking to voters following publication of the exit polls -- and some of them are concerned there may be another stalemate. "The figures are very tight, there is no majority," said Syriza supporter Lavros Moustakis. "We may have to rerun the election in a month and in that time, Merkel will ruin us."
1616 GMT: Politicians and officials in Berlin are likely to be on tenterhooks at the moment, such is the closeness of these exit polls. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday that it was "extremely important" for Greece to elect politicians who would respect the bailout. She and others will be watching closely tonight amid wider fears about the impact of a possible Syriza win.
1611 GMT: Athens University politics professor Dmitri Sotiropoulous tells the BBC that Golden Dawn's figures in the exit polls suggest the party has "sustained most of its power" from the May vote.
1608 GMT: So there seems to be barely a hair between Syriza and New Democracy, the two main contenders in the election, at this stage. Exit polls put New Democracy half a percentage point ahead with between 27.5 percent and 30.5 percent of the vote compared to between 27 percent and 30 percent for Syriza. Still well within the margin of error.
1603 GMT: EXIT POLLS ALSO INDICATE NEO-NAZI GOLDEN DAWN PARTY BACK IN PARLIAMENT
1601 GMT: EXIT POLLS PUT CONSERVATIVES AND RADICALS NECK AND NECK
1600 GMT: POLLS CLOSE
1555 GMT: In a sign of the tension surrounding this election, two grenades were found outside the offices of private media group Skai TV, which supports austerity in Greece, this morning. "Somebody is trying to disturb the holding of the election but this effort will fail," said government spokesman Dimitris Tsiodras.
1550 GMT: My colleague Dario Thuburn in Athens spoke to some voters earlier today who were in no doubt of the importance of this election.
"This is an election that makes people very, very anxious," said 62-year-old pensioner Andreas Pappas after voting in central Athens. "I want Greece to remain in the eurozone and the European Union. We used to think it was something we could take for granted. We have never faced a situation like this."
Another, Stavros Logaras, a 53-year-old Communist voter, said people were "confused" but desperate for change. "We would like another style of government, another way for Greek society and for European society," he said.
WELCOME TO AFP'S LIVE REPORT on the Greek elections. The results of the poll, which closes very shortly at 1600 GMT, will be key to determining whether Greece stays in the eurozone and could send shockwaves through economies in Europe and around the world.
There are two main parties to watch in the poll. The anti-austerity left-wing Syriza party, led by 37-year-old Alexis Tsipras, wants to scrap Greece's huge EU-IMF loan deal. It is this threat which has prompted doubts about whether Greece can stay in the eurozone if Syriza win.
On the other side is the conservative New Democracy party led by the vastly experienced Antonis Samaras. Samaras says that if his party secures victory, it will renegotiate elements of the loan deal, placing more emphasis on growth. The Greek economy is currently in a dire state, in its fifth year of recession and with unemployment among those aged 15-24 running at 52.8 percent.
The first results are expected by around 1900 GMT -- stay with us to see what happens in this crucial election.
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