Tsipras’ first task as re-elected prime minister will be to implement more tough austerity measures demanded by creditors in return for a new €86bn rescue package.
He recalled that under Tsipras’s previous leadership, Greece already “committed to ambitious programme of reforms” to revive the country’s economy as he led the negotiations that culminated in the bailout deal signed in Brussels in August.
In a painful reminder of that crisis, 13 migrants died in Turkish waters on Sunday when a boat carrying 46 people en route to Greece collided with a dry cargo vessel and capsized, a Turkish coast guard source said.
Smiling broadly as he voted in a schoolroom in a working-class suburb of Athens, Tsipras urged his fellow citizens to usher in a new era and “give a mandate for a strong government with a four-year horizon, which is what the country needs”.
“Mr. Tsipras is the rising star inside the country once again”, said Theodore Couloumbis, emeritus professor of politics at Athens University.
Before poll results emerged, he launched a scathing attack against his former party.
With 90% of votes tallied his Syriza party had received 35.5% of the vote delivering 145 seats in the 300-strong parliament, and was preparing to join centre-right politicians in coalition.
New Democracy head Vangelis Meimarakis conceded defeat soon after exit polls showed a clear Syriza victory, and called for a government to be formed quickly.
The projection carried a statistical margin of error of half a percentage point.
Spain faces a general election in December and, until recently, Podemos was polling high enough to put it in contention to form the next government.
Former Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis quit Syriza after July’s bailout referendum, having been earlier pulled by Mr Tsipras from the country’s bailout negotiating team.
Last month some commentators were saying that he would be rocked by an acrimonious split in Syriza, with anti-bailout zealots abandoning the party.
Speaking to France Inter radio, Schulz said he could not understand Tsipras’ decision to bring the Independent Greeks, who polled less than 4 percent of the vote, back into government. “He is pure, and smart, and I hope he will govern for many years”. “It’s a wonderful victory, a clear victory, and a success of the people”.