NEWS

Poll shows increase in support for ND and left

New Democracy has widened its lead over PASOK but still does not have enough support to form a government on its own as there has been a substantial shift to the leftist parties, according to a new Public Issue poll for Kathimerini and Skai TV and Radio.

According to the survey, ND would garner 30 percent of the vote, 1.5 percent up on last month. While the rise indicates that the conservatives have not suffered from their participation in the interim government, as some ND members feared, support for the center-right party is still well short of what would be needed for a majority government.

PASOK?s ratings have slid 4 percent to 15.5 percent. This would leave the Socialists with 50 seats in Parliament compared to the 160 it won two years ago. The Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), the third member of the transitional administration, also experienced a dip in support. The nationalists saw their ratings fall 2.5 points to 6 percent.

There were gains for all the leftist parties. The Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) was up 2 percent to 14, ahead of the Communist Party (KKE), which rose 2.5 percent to 13.5. Backing for the Democratic Left, the more moderate part led by veteran politician Fotis Kouvelis, also rose to 9 percent. This means that the leftist parties? combined share of the vote is an unusually high 37 percent.

Two other parties, the Ecologist Greens and the liberal Democratic Alliance led by Dora Bakoyannis, also pass the 3 percent threshold to gain seats in Parliament, according to the poll. The proportion of those who say they plan to abstain remains high at 32.5 percent.

Significantly, just over half of respondents want elections to be held soon and 38 percent like the idea of a coalition government. The approval rating for the current interim prime minister, Lucas Papademos, is at 60 percent.

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