Two opinion polls published on Wednesday gave SYRIZA a clear lead over New Democracy but conservative officials insisted there was still plenty of time for their party to recover its popularity before the European Parliament and local elections in May.
A survey by Public Issue for Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper indicated that support for SYRIZA runs to 31.5 percent, compared to 28 percent for New Democracy.
According to the poll, Golden Dawn is in third place with 10 percent, followed by PASOK and the Communist Party (KKE) on 6.5, Independent Greeks on 4.5 and Democratic Left (DIMAR) on 3.5.
A second survey by Pulse for To Pontiki weekly also put SYRIZA in the lead. The leftists were seen garnering support of 23 percent, whereas New Democracy drew backing of 20 percent. Golden Dawn had 11 percent, PASOK 5.5, KKE 5, Independent Greeks 4.5 and DIMAR 2.5.
New Democracy sources said they believe the party is suffering from the failure of recovery signs to appear in the real economy and the negative publicity surrounding the escape of convicted terrorist Christodoulos Xeros. Conservative officials believe that as Greece nears May’s elections, the government’s fortunes will improve.
The belief within New Democracy is that the economic conditions will be better and that the unveiling of a 10-year development plan will help create a more positive environment.
Meanwhile, PASOK clarified that its intention to cooperate with a new center-left movement, the so-called Initiative of the 58, will not result in the abandoning of its name and logo. A misinterpretation of comments by Yiannis Voulgaris, who is involved in the new movement, had led to the confusion, according to the Socialist party.