New Democracy has increased its lead over ruling SYRIZA to eight points, according to a survey conducted by the University of Macedonia on behalf of Skai TV and made public on Friday evening.
In the poll, conducted between March 29 and 30, 24.5 percent said they would vote for the conservatives in a national election ahead of leftist SYRIZA, which trailed at 16.5 percent, while the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and extreme-right Golden Dawn were tied in third place on 6.5 percent, ahead of PASOK and the Union of Centrists with 4 percent.
Of those polled, 2.5 percent said they would vote for junior coalition partner Independent Greeks. The same share said they would vote for centrist party To Potami, while far-left Popular Unity, which split from SYRIZA last year, got 1.5 percent.
The results also reflect a growing perception that New Democracy is on the road to recovery, after losing last September’s election, with 50.5 percent saying they would win the next general election, compared to 20.5 percent that tipped SYRIZA.
The survey also suggested that conservative leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis won Tuesday’s parliamentary debate on corruption, against 16 percent who felt that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras came out on top.
The poll results came just days after New Democracy called for elections to prevent the country from reaching what it described as an impasse.
Mitsotakis, who opposition sources say has embarked upon a strategy to “deconstruct” the political profile of the SYRIZA leader, defended his call on Friday, saying that “it is proven day after day that [the ruling coalition] cannot govern. The cost of them staying in power outweighs the cost of elections.”
“Our call is an expression of the country’s productive forces that are suffocating under the government’s policies,” said the conservative leader.
Mitsotakis’s rise to the party helm earlier this year also appears to have galvanized his party’s base to the tune of 81 percent, while only 43 percent of those who voted for SYRIZA in previous elections said they would vote for the ruling party again.