NEWS

ND, Simitis lead in latest poll

A nationwide opinion poll suggests that New Democracy enjoys a 7 percent lead over ruling PASOK, down from 8.8 percent in a poll by the same company in July. The Metron Analysis poll, conducted from November 17 to 29, said 39.2 percent (from 38.8 percent in July) would vote for ND if elections were held today, 32.2 percent (from 30 percent) for PASOK, 5.7 percent for the Communist Party (from 5.6 percent), 3.6 percent (3 percent) for the Left Coalition, 2.6 percent (1.2 percent) for the extreme-right LAOS party and 2 percent (2.9 percent) for the Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI). Also, 57.8 percent expect ND to win elections, while 25.1 percent expect PASOK. They are due in early 2004. PM Costas Simitis was seen by slightly more voters as more fit than ND leader Costas Karamanlis to serve as prime minister, edging him out by 35.7 percent to 34.5 percent, from the 37.2 percent they both got in July. PASOK was seen as more capable on issues such as the Olympics, foreign policy and fighting terrorism, while ND led on issues such as health, education, social security, and so on.