Parliamentary elections with a touch of a presidential contest

A major feature of the 2001 parliamentary elections was the electorate’s indifference and apathy. The lassitude of voters along with the negative image of DISY affected its share in public opinions. The alarming results suggested by opinion polls, pushed its powerful and effective party machinery into action. A week before the elections it was clear that the outcome was not the expected, so the party resorted to the last persuasion tool: personal contact. This approach, combined with some doses of ideological fanaticism, and an attempt for causing polarization made it possible for DISY to narrow the gap in vote share separating it from the ideological enemy. This was achieved by convincing undecided voters, especially in small communities where interpersonal relations and ideological battles continue to have the flavour of the past. In contrast, in the capital the party’s message “was not properly received”. More than elsewhere, voters in Lefkosia were less touched by ideological discourse and less attracted by DISY’s traditional nationalistic style, employed since 1993. The party maintained its forces by winning back large numbers of “undecided” voters. Undecided former DISY voters had a difficult choice, since for them neither the Democratic Party nor the Social Democrats offered a real alternative. So, they voted for the party of their usual choice.