Poll shows further drop in support for New Democracy

Support for New Democracy is continuing to weaken substantially as some of the party?s supporters drift toward the recently formed Independent Greeks, according to a new opinion poll.

The Public Issue survey for Skai TV and Kathimerini suggests ND?s backing has dropped 3.5 percent to 19 percent over the last two weeks. Support for the conservatives has been on the decline for the last two months. In February, ND?s support was running close to 30 percent.

However, the steady drop in the party?s popularity has been matched by a rise in support for Independent Greeks, a right-wing nationalist party launched by ND outcast Panos Kammenos in March. The poll shows support for Independent Greeks rising to 11 percent from 8.5 percent two weeks ago and 6.5 percent in early March.

Despite this rapid rise, Independent Greeks still ranks as fifth most popular with the Communist Party (KKE), which also garners 11 percent.

PASOK remains in second place despite seeing a 1 percent drop over the last two weeks. Backing for the Socialists stands at 14.5 percent, following the small increase last month after Evangelos Venizelos took over as party leader.

However, this means that the combined support for PASOK and New Democracy only reaches 33.5 percent, which is short of what the two parties would need to form a coalition government. Depending on what percentage of the vote is garnered by the parties that do not gain parliamentary seats in the elections, the leading party or parties will need at least 36 percent to form a government. The poll found that 89 percent of Greeks do not believe one party will win a clear majority at the May 6 elections.

Support for the three leftist parties has remained largely unchanged over the last two weeks. The Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) saw its backing rise by just 0.5 percent, taking its total support to 13 percent. Democratic Left is still on 12 percent, one percentage point ahead of KKE, which saw its support drop by one to 11 percent.

The neofascist Chrysi Avgi also maintains its backing of 5 percent, while the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) enjoyed a slight rise and stands at 3 percent, which is the threshold for entering Parliament, alongside the Ecologist Greens.