Stavros Theodorakis, who has given up journalism to lead a new political party, To Potami, launched his campaign for the European Parliament elections over the weekend with opinion polls showing his movement performing much better than expected.
Theodorakis toured Crete over the weekend, holding a town hall-style meeting and smaller encounters with voter as two surveys placed To Potami (The River) as one of Greece’s largest parties.
Speaking in his home town of Hania on Saturday, Theodorakis insisted that his part would be free of all connections with politicians and other political parties.
“We have a clear proposal for the other parties,” he said. “They should tear up their manifestos and sit down with the people voters will choose in the elections to create a national salvation program.
“We need to find 30 solutions for the 30 problems we have.”
Theodorakis has yet to detail his party’s policies or name its candidates for the May 25 elections.
An Alco poll for Proto Thema newspaper on voting intentions for the European elections put SYRIZA in the lead on 19.1 percent, followed by New Democracy on 18 percent and To Potami on 8.8 percent, ahead of Golden Dawn on 6.9.
PASOK’s grouping with other center-left parties, known as the Olive Tree alliance, score 5.1 percent, just ahead of the Communist Party (KKE) on 5. Independent Greeks garnered 4.5 percent and Democratic Left 2.2.
The Alco poll also indicated that Theodorakis is by far the most popular party leader at the moment. He has an approval rating of 44 percent compared to the next most popular, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on 31 percent.
A Public Issue poll for Efimerida ton Syntakton, which measured voters’ preferences for national elections, also place SYRIZA first with 28.5 percent. New Democracy came second on 28 percent, followed by Golden Dawn on 10.5 and KKE with 7.5. To Potami came fourth with 7 percent.
It was followed by PASOK on 5.5 percent and Independent Greeks on 5. Democratic Left gathered 3 percent.