NEWS

PASOK alarm over slide in opinion polls as new party makes strong debut

Alarm bells were ringing in the PASOK camp on Thursday after a new opinion poll indicated that support for the Socialists ahead of May’s European Parliament elections is running at less than 4 percent.

Sources said that people close to PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos are advising him to adopt an open-minded approach to the naming of the party’s electoral candidates in a bid to maximize its appeal on May 25, when it will stand as part of an “Olive Tree” alliance with smaller parties. Some of Venizelos’s aides have suggested that this should even involve the party leader approaching candidates that are loyal to former PASOK president George Papandreou.

So far, Venizelos has found it difficult to convince candidates of any stature to stand in the May polls due to the party’s continuing dive in the polls. A survey conducted by Alco on behalf of the NewsIt website indicated yesterday that just 3.8 percent of voters intend to back PASOK in May.

The poll gave SYRIZA a small lead over New Democracy, with the leftists garnering 20.9 percent against 20 percent for the conservatives. Golden Dawn came in third with 6.9 percent.

Surprisingly, the new party formed by journalist Stavros Theodorakis this week, To Potami (The River), gathered 5.7 percent even though it does not have any candidates or concrete policies yet. The Alco survey indicated that much of the party’s support was drawn from the left and center-left. Nearly 13 percent of those who said they would vote for Potami previously supported Democratic Left, 8.1 percent PASOK and 7.7 percent SYRIZA.

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