Pollsters identify three factors that led to SYRIZA election surge

SYRIZA?s strong showing in the May 6 elections, which upset most predictions and prevented New Democracy and PASOK from forming a government, was built on its appeal to younger voters, to both the employed and unemployed and Greeks living in the country?s major cities, according to data presented at a conference in Athens on Tuesday.

Election experts Ilias Nikolakopoulos and Stratos Fanaras revealed during a conference at Panteion University the three main reasons leftist SYRIZA, which won 16.78 percent, upset ND, which garnered 18.85 percent and PASOK, which only managed 13.18 percent, and broke their stranglehold on Greek politics.

?There were three fault lines that caused the electoral earthquake,? the pollsters said.

The first of these fault lines was the age of voters. Exit polls showed that SYRIZA was the dominant party among Greeks under 50, where the right-wing Independent Greeks and neo-Nazi Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) also performed well. ND and PASOK were only in the lead positions in the 50-65 age group.

Another significant factor was that SYRIZA managed to appeal to both those Greeks who are out of work but also the so-called ?active population.? The leftists took 21.5 percent of the unemployed vote, compared to 12.5 percent for New Democracy and only 6.5 that went to PASOK. From voters in work, including private and public sector employees, SYRIZA attracted support of 18 percent, whereas New Democracy only managed 14 and PASOK 11. ND and PASOK received stronger support from housewives and pensioners.

The third area where SYRIZA was much more dominant than Greece?s two traditionally strongest parties was in the country?s three largest cities: Athens, Patra and Thessaloniki. New Democracy and PASOK performed better in the countryside.