ATHENS – It wasn’t much, but the ruling New Democracy Conservatives of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras have managed to cut into the lead in polls of the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party.
The survey in the Efimerida ton Syntakon paper showed that the Leftist are still up by a big 8.5 percent but that they had lost 0.5 percent and New Democracy had gained two percent among voters after Samaras promised big giveways and tax cuts, even though he doesn’t have the okay yet from international lenders.
The poll put SYRIZA at 35.5 percent and New Democracy with 27. To Potami is in third place at 10.5 percent, followed by the Communist Party (KKE) at 6.5, while Samaras’ coalition partner the PASOK Socialists are tied with the extremist Golden Dawn party at 6 percent.
The Independent Greeks have 3 percent and former coalition partner the Democratic Left (DIMAR) with only 1 percent, far below the 3 percent threshold needed to enter Parliament in the next elections.
If this was the result of the next general elections, SYRIZA would gain 144 seats and New Democracy 71, although 151 is needed to control Parliament, showing the likelihood of another coalition. The proportion of Greeks who think there will be early elections rose from 54 to 63 percent over the last month.
SYRIZA began to surge after its leader, Alexis Tsipras, promised to reverse the course of austerity that the government imposed if he comes to power.