NEWS

Poll points to a shift in voting intentions

Dissent-ridden socialist PASOK is on a downward spiral and conservative New Democracy is maintaining its popularity while the Democratic Left has attracted the support of a large segment of austerity-weary Greeks, according to the results of a new opinion poll that also show that nine in 10 Greeks are unhappy with Prime Minister Lucas Papademos?s coalition government.

The new poll, carried out by Public Issue for Skai, showed ND to have inched forward to 31 percent, consolidating its growing popularity, while PASOK continues to languish in fifth place with 8 percent.

The poll, carried out on a sample of 1,002 people last week, showed the Communist Party (KKE) and the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) to be holding firm at 12.5 and 12 percent respectively. But the Democratic Left has surged in popularity, garnering 18 percent of the public vote (up 4.5 percent since last month).

All together, the leftist parties garner an impressive 42.5 percent, but as KKE has ruled out cooperating with other parties, the figure is misleading.

Support for the right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), the third party in the tripartite coalition, slipped to 5 percent -- from 8 percent during its heyday in 2010 -- while the extreme-right Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) has surged to 3 percent, hitting the threshold for entering Parliament.

The poll?s results for parties are broadly reflected in the support for the politicians that lead them. Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis tops the list, attracting the support of 56 percent of respondents, followed by 41 percent for SYRIZA?s Alexis Tsipras and ND chief Antonis Samaras with 31 percent.

Respondents were divided on Papademos, with 48 percent expressing a negative opinion and 46 percent a positive one. Respondents were virtually unanimous though in their criticism of his government?s achievements, with 91 percent expressing disappointment.

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