Voters back ND but see PASOK, Simitis as abler

Prime Minister Costas Simitis is marginally better qualified than opposition leader Costas Karamanlis to rule the country, his governing socialists are better suited to the job than New Democracy but the conservatives still enjoy a 6 percent lead in popularity, according to a poll released yesterday. The nationwide poll conducted by Opinion on behalf of the Sunday edition of the Eleftherotypia newspaper found that 35.3 percent of respondents would vote for ND and 29.3 percent for Simitis’s PASOK. Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos’s middle-of-the-road Movement of Free Citizens (KEP) came third with 5.6 percent, followed by the Communist Party with 4.5 percent and the Synaspismos Left Coalition with 3.2 percent. Simitis, however, was held by 26.3 percent to be best suited for prime minister, just above Karamanlis’s 25.2 percent. Avramopoulos came third with 7.3 percent, while Foreign Minister George Papandreou was fourth with 6.4 percent. Some 35.7 percent of respondents said PASOK was best suited to rule Greece, and 33.1 percent mentioned ND. Given the six largest parties to choose from, 6.2 percent said none of them was fit for the job. The poll, which was conducted between October 26 and November 6 – beginning two weeks after the PASOK congress and three days after the ensuing Cabinet reshuffle – also inquired after Greece’s most likable politician.

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