Latest Alco poll shows SYRIZA lead narrowing slightly

Greek anti-bailout opposition party Syriza’s lead over the ruling conservatives has narrowed slightly, according to a poll conducted after Prime Minister Antonis Samaras called a snap parliamentary election for January 25.

The Alco survey to be published in the To Pontiki newspaper on Thursday showed the radical leftist Syriza would win a 33.8 percent share of the vote if elections were held now, ahead of Samaras’s New Democracy party which would take 30.5 percent.

That marked a slight drop from a 3.6 point lead Syriza held in the previous Alco survey. Syriza wants to scrap the painful austerity measures agreed by Greece under a 240 billion euro bailout programme with its international creditors.

The telephone survey of 1,000 people, conducted on Jan. 4-6 nationwide, also showed that a party set up by former prime minister George Papandreou last week — the Movement of Democratic Socialists — would get 2.7 percent of the vote.

The Alco survey was the first to include the new party, which is expected to siphon away votes from the Socialist PASOK that it split from as well as other leftist parties including Syriza and the centrist To Potami.

There is a three percent threshold for a party to win seats in the Greek parliament.

Greek lawmakers failed to elect a president last week, triggering the dissolution of parliament and the snap election. Syriza has been ahead of the government in opinion polls for months but its lead has shrunk in recent weeks.