New poll shows New Democracy overtaking SYRIZA as Greek mood seems to lift

A 5 percent swing in public opinion has led to New Democracy overtaking SYRIZA as Greece’s leading party, while Greeks appear slightly less gloomy than before, according to a survey for Kathimerini and Skai.

The Public Issue poll for January gave New Democracy 29 percent of the vote, a 3 percent rise on last month, and SYRIZA 28.5 percent, a 2 percent decrease for the leftists.

Far-right Golden Dawn remained third with 10 percent and PASOK fourth with 8 percent. Independent Greeks also have 8 percent, followed by Democratic Left with 7 percent and the Communist Party on 5.5 percent.

There has been a significant change in the percentage of voters who think ND will win the next elections, up from 25 percent in December to 39 percent this month. Meanwhile, those expecting a SYRIZA victory are down from 60 percent to 44 percent.

The apparent shift on the political scene came as the proportion of Greeks who feel their country is heading in the wrong direction fell by 19 percentage points in a month to 68 percent. Also, those who think the state is doing its job well is up from 10 percent to 26 percent. The percentage of Greeks who think their country will default has fallen to 21 percent from 38 percent, but 52 percent believe the economic crisis will last more than five years.

PASOK suffered another departure on Thursday, as MP Christos Aidonis departed to join ex-Health Minister Andreas Loverdos’s RIKSSY movement. The move reduced the number of PASOK deputies to 24 but ousted lawmaker Costas Skandalidis indicated that he would return to the fold after an invitation from party leader Evangelos Venizelos.