ATHENS, Greece – The anti-bailout Syriza party won a clear victory in austerity-weary Greece's national election on Sunday, according to projections by state-run TV's exit poll.
But it was uncertain whether the radical left-wing party, led by 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, had won by a big enough margin over Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' incumbent conservatives to govern alone. For that, they need a minimum 151 of parliament's 300 seats.
The Interior Ministry said that its projections, based on early returns, show Syriza gaining 150 seats. But it added that the margin of error meant that the final number could be 149 to 151, and a final result could not emerge until all votes have been counted.
If the communist-rooted party fails to win at least 151 seats, it will have to find a coalition partner, or secure pledges of support that would allow it to form a minority government.
Official results from 17.6 percent of polling stations counted showed Syriza with 35 percent and Samaras' New Democracy with 29.3 percent. An exit poll on state-run Nerit TV projected Syriza as winning with between 36 and 38 percent, compared to ND with 26-28 percent.
Earlier projections had given Syriza 146-158 seats in parliament, and New Democracy 65-75 seats.
Tsipras has promised to renegotiate the country's 240 billion-euro ($270 billion) international bailout deal, and seek forgiveness for most of Greece's massive debt load. He has pledged to reverse many of the reforms that creditors demanded — including cuts in pensions and the minimum wage, some privatizations and public sector firings — in exchange for keeping Greece financially afloat since 2010.