Mixed ND reaction to first place in survey

There was a mixed response from New Democracy to the results of a new opinion poll that placed the conservatives ahead of PASOK, with some party members indicating the ratings were a confirmation of the popularity of ND?s economic policy suggestions.

However, others, such as former Transport Minister Costis Hatzidakis, warned that the most important lesson to take from the survey?s results is the need for the parties to find common ground.

The Public Issue survey for Sunday?s Kathimerini indicates that only 27 percent of voters still back PASOK, which is 17 percent lower than in the 2009 general elections.

In fact, PASOK has dropped below ND, which now leads the polls with 31 percent. However, this also represents a drop of 2.5 percent from the support for the conservatives in the last elections, which was the party?s poorest ever showing.

If this result was replicated in parliamentary elections, ND would not have enough seats to form a government on its own.

Hatzidakis said the poll?s key implications were PASOK?s decline, an improvement for ND but most of all voters? distrust for politicians. ?The political system has to look at itself and appreciate people?s lack of trust,? he said. ?We have to change our practices and move toward a culture of consensus.?

The ex-minister?s comments were in contrast to those of his colleague Notis Mitarakis, a party spokesman on economic affairs, who said ND?s poll lead proved that people had supported leader Antonis Samaras?s so-called Zappeio 2 proposal for the Greek economy.

?There has been a positive response because people are looking for specific, costed solutions,? he said of the scheme, which proposes across-the-board tax cuts. ?The government is sticking to a recipe that has failed.?

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