Elections for the six Cyprus seats to the European Parliament, in 2014, were held under a new government, in place since March 2013; Nicos Anastasiades, chairman of the Democratic Rally (Δημοκρατικός Συναγερμός) – DISY, won the election against Stavros Malas, candidate of the left wing – communist AKEL (Ανορθωτικό Κόμμα Εργαζομένου Λαού – Progressive Party of Working People), and succeeded to communist Demetris Christofias who did not seek re-election. Ten years after Glafcos Clerides lost re-election, beaten by Tassos Papadopoulos of the Democratic Party (Δημοκρατικό Κόμμα) – DIKO, in 2003, DISY elected again its own candidate. The new President had to handle the critical situation in which the economy of the country was found because of Christofias’ unwillingness to take hard decisions. Anastasiades accepted a haircut of bank deposits and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, providing for tough austerity measures and reforms.

Although a large majority of people saw them as necessary for saving the economy and the country, the decisions taken by the Anastasiades government caused stress in trust to the executive and the parliament, and reaction in the form of demonstrations, albeit not to the extent one might have expected. The fact that the opposition party AKEL was considered by many as responsible for Christofias’ failures had a critically negative effect on the party’s ability to mobilise people against the policies adopted and the tough measures promoted by the new government. In addition to the economic problems that brought the country to its knees, the explosion of weapons seized by a Syrian vessel and kept in open air in an airbase near Mari village was a major issue that had a negative impact on people’s confidence and trust. Denial of accepting any responsibility was seen by many as an unforgivable sin.

The center Democratic Party – DIKO was in government until January 2014, when Nicholas Papadopoulos won the chairmanship against incumbent Marios Garoyian in intraparty elections. Papadopoulos decided to call on ministers affiliated to his party to leave the government. Of the four DIKO ministers, three left their portfolios, but two of them were appointed by Anastasiades to other posts.

For the first time, Turkish Cypriots residing in the northern part of the island, which is under the control of the Turkish Army, were allowed to register on the electoral rolls and vote. This was followed by the creation of small formations, comprising both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, which contested the election with mixed lists of candidates.

The election was contested by AKEL and DIKO each with own tickets, while DISY was allied to EVROKO (Ευρωπαϊκό Κόμμα – European Party) headed by its former deputy and parliamentary spokesperson Demetris Syllouris; also, EDEK (Ενιαία Δημοκρατική Ένωση Κέντρου – United Democratic Union of the Center) joined forces with the Ecologists (Κίνημα Οικολόγων Περιβαλλοντιστών – Movement of Ecologists Environmentalists). Other formations that contested the elections were: The far right ELAM (Εθνικό Λαϊκό Μέτωπο – National Popular Front), which won 663 votes in 2009 and 4364 votes in the parliamentary elections of 2011; the Citizens Alliance – Συμμαχία Πολιτών, founded in 2013 by Giorgos Lillikas, former AKEL deputy and minister in the government of Tassos Papadopoulos, the Animal Party – Κόμμα για τα Ζώα, founded one month before the elections; Message of Hope – Μήνυμα Ελπίδας, also a newly established formation,  DRASY – EYLEM (Bi-communal Radical Cooperation – Δικοινοτική Ριζοσπαστική Συνεργασία), formed by Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, and The Socialist Party Of Cyprus – Σοσιαλιστικό Κόμμα Κύπρου, formed by Turkish Cypriots. A record number of Independent candidates (eight) ran also for election.

The economy and the austerity measures promoted under the terms of the MoU were the main subject of the campaign, while a feeling of distrust to European institutions had emerged following the imposed haircut and harsh austerity measures. However, Europe and European policies in general were almost totally absent from parties’ programs and the public debate.

The most noticeable features of the results were the heavy loss of votes by AKEL and the increase of the abstention rate, which climbed to 56%. The communist party paid dearly for Christofias’ years in power by loosing 35% of its 2009 votes, slipping from 107,000 to 70,000, while the abstention rate passed from 40% to 56%. DISY, allied to EVROKO, did not do better, as it lost 12,000 votes compared to its 2009 score, 25,000 if combined with EVROKO’s previous performance. DIKO lost almost 10,000 votes, slipping to 28,000, and EDEK, allied with the Ecologists, slipped from a combined total of almost 35,000 to 20,000 votes. Big winners, although they did not win any seat, were the far right ELAM, which multiplied its vote by ten (from 663 to 7,000) while the newly established Citizens Alliance and Movement Hope won 18,000 and 10,000 respectively.

In terms of vote share, DISY was the clear winner of the election, despite the loss of votes, with 37.8%, with AKEL trailing behind by almost 11 points, DIKO at 10.8%, EDEK 7.7% and Citizens Alliance 6.8%.

The allocation of seats remained the same as in the previous period, with both DISY and AKEL holding two seats, DIKO and EDEK with one.