Firmly on the fringe of the right since it first appeared 20 years ago, Golden Dawn garnered a meager 0.23 percent in the 2009 elections. Now, it looks set to easily win more than the 3 percent threshold needed to enter Parliament, with recent opinion polls showing support at about 5 percent.
The party has a barely veiled sinister side, and has been blamed for vicious attacks on immigrants. Members skirt questions about violence, saying they have no knowledge of such incidents.
"We don't do anything, we protect the Greeks," said Epaminondas Anyfantis, a mild-mannered, 59-year-old candidate who looks the antithesis of many of the young, muscled and shaven-headed members. "Now, if in protecting the Greeks, a foreigner might get a slap or a kick or something, I think that's in the framework of the protection of the Greeks. ... Because unfortunately the Greeks at the moment have come to the point of asking Golden Dawn for protection."
Immigrants are increasingly concerned.
"We are worried very much," said Javed Aslam, the head of the Pakistani community in Greece, during a recent anti-racist demonstration. "This is very bad. You can imagine one political party with weapons, with knives, they are going out in the roads, and this is politics? This is not politics!"