Buoyed by recent opinion polls giving it a comfortable lead, conservative main opposition New Democracy party has launched a drive to sway disenchanted SYRIZA supporters as well as disgruntled voters in Greece’s middle ground, Kathimerini understands.
“I want to address separately those who voted for SYRIZA in the last national election,” New Democracy chief Kyriakos Mitsotakis told a recent party rally on the southern island of Crete, a leftist stronghold in the September 2015 ballot.
“I am asking you to leave your disappointment and frustration behind. Let’s bring our forces together,” Mitsotakis said.
The unfolding overture to the left of ND is based on the belief among party experts that the biggest share of undecided voters backed ruling SYRIZA in the last election. They are described as pragmatic voters with a preference for effective solutions and no strict ideological affiliation with SYRIZA. In surveys, these mostly identify themselves as center or center-left voters.
Meanwhile, the once-dominant PASOK appears unfit to capitalize on this reservoir of voters after failing to convince the Greek electorate that it has managed to catch up with political and economic developments in the crisis-hit country.
A poll conducted by the University of Macedonia last week indicated that 9 percent of those who supported SYRIZA in the 2015 vote have since migrated to ND.
According to the same survey, only one in three SYRIZA voters said they would back Alexis Tsipras’s party if elections were held today. Ten percent said they would back the conservative opposition, while 25.5 percent said they would abstain or that they were undecided.
The same poll showed New Democracy leading SYRIZA by 15 percentage points.