ATHENS – The major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) continues to keep a lead over the ruling New Democracy Conservatives of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in a poll that showed a 3.7 percent margin.
That was markedly less than the 11 percent shown in another survey last week but still gives the edge to the Leftists who picked up steam on the back of continuing opposition to austerity measures Samaras imposed on orders of international lenders.
The survey was reported in the Sunday newspaper Typos tis Kyriakis and asked voters their preference if elections were held now. The ruling parties in a coalition government, including the PASOK Socialists, have a term due to end in 2016.
While SYRIZA is the party of choice, its leader Alexis Tsipras is not as he got only 31.9 percent support as a premier compared to 35.7 percent for Samaras, continuing Greek preference for wanting it both ways.
SYRIZA got 21.2 percent to New Democracy’s 17.5 percent, followed by the ultra-far right Golden Dawn with only 5.3 percent, although the party holds onto that spot despite having all its 18 lawmakers arrested on charges of running a criminal gang, with nine in detention pending a trial.
Fourth was garnered by the new populist, anti-politician To Potami (The River) party at 4.6 percent, followed by the dormant KKE Communists at 4.4 percent, and the vanishing PASOK at 3.9 percent.
No mention was made of the Independent Greeks or Democratic Left (DIMAR) which are represented in Parliament, showing they are off the radar screen. The preference of “Other Parties,” was chosen by 8.3 percent, while 16.7 percent are undecided and 12.2 percent said they’ve given up and won’t vote despite a crushing economic crisis that has engendered polarity.
In reply to whether the country should hold early elections, voters appeared to almost evenly divided, with 46.2 percent opposed and 45 percent in favor.