Three things seem fairly certain: (a) ND/PASOK will not reach a combined majority; (b) Samaras (ND) will come out first and (c) Venizelos (PASOK) will come out second. I emphasize the words fairly certain because everything seems possible at this stage of the game.
In the above sceanrio, Samaras would have 3 days to form a coalition government and I see no way how he could accomplish that without Venizelos. So, Samaras is condemned to be successful with Venizelos because otherwise he is out of luck.
It is in Venizelos’ hands to make Samaras successful or not. Obviously, he will not do anything that could be deemed “destructive” at such a critical stage of the country. On the contrary, he has already said that a ND/PASOK coalition (including perhaps others) would have to be the solution and he has already said that he did not have to be No. 1 in a new government. Thus, Venizelos has made himself invulnerable to any possible attacks of “playing partisan games”.
But there are so many other ways, nice and subtle ones, to block Samaras from reaching a deal with Venizelos. And 3 days can pass very quickly! If they pass without success for Samaras, the man will be brandmarked as a loser.
Should Venizelos reach the point where he is asked to form a government, he starts from a much better position than Samaras. First of all, Samaras will be discredited even within his own party, opening the door for Venizelos to negotiate with someone else and, secondly, that someone else might be a more sensible man than Samaras is.
Whichever way I slice it, I would prefer to be in Venizelos’ position rather than in Samaras’.
UPDATE after the first exit-poll
Ooops, a small detail obviously escaped me. I had never even considered that PASOK’s second place might be in danger. Now it looks very much like it will be. So much for predictions…