Sunday 25 January 2015 2:50 pm

Greek election: Golden Dawn could be Greece's third biggest party

Greece's political order is set to undergo a radical change after today's elections.

Exit polls suggested the far left party Syriza will receive the largest share of the vote between 35.5 and 39.5 per cent. The Greek interior ministry predicts Syriza will achieve 36.5 per cent of the vote and win 150 seats – one short of a majority.

Syriza is not the only extremist party making gains. The fascist party Golden Dawn may win third place if the exit polls are correct. Golden Dawn could win between 6.4 and eight per cent of the vote. However, it is still nip and tuck with the centrist To Potami party, according to the exit polls.

If the Greek interior ministry predictions are correct Golden Dawn will return 17 representatives to the Greek parliament.

The far right party achieved parliamentary office for the first time three years ago. Many of the party's top officials are prison thanks to their alleged association with criminal gangs. The party has been accused of carrying out vicious attacks on immigrants and political opponents.

Seven of the party's 16 members of parliament are in gaol or under house arrest. Golden Dawn has pledged to detain illegal immigrants and have them deported. 

Golden Dawn gained popularity on the back of anti-immigrant sentiment and by providing social services to the poor. They won three MEPs after coming third in the European elections. In 2012, Golden Dawn received seven per cent of the vote.