Poll puts ND 8 percent ahead

Three weeks before the forthcoming European parliamentary elections, New Democracy has recorded its highest poll lead over the opposition Socialist party, according to a new survey conducted on behalf of Kathimerini. The VPRC nationwide phone poll, carried out on May 17 and 18, gave ND an 8 percent advantage, with 41.5 percent of all respondents saying they proposed to vote for the ruling conservatives on June 13. Some 33.5 percent said they would vote for PASOK, the Communist Party came third at 7 percent, Synaspismos Left Coalition followed at 4 percent and the ultra-conservative Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) came fifth at 3 percent. The survey also established that most respondents, and (more to the point) most PASOK voters, see no need for the replacement of party leader George Papandreou, the former foreign minister who, just before the March 7 national elections, took over the party that his father, Andreas Papandreou, had founded in 1974. Some 62 percent of all respondents and 87 percent of PASOK supporters saw no need for PASOK to find itself a new leader. Should the question arise, however, according to the VPRC poll, former Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos might prove the most popular choice. Asked to name the «top» official, not counting the chairmen, in Greece’s two largest parties, 18 percent named Venizelos among PASOK cadres. Theodoros Pangalos and Vasso Papandreou came next at 4 percent each, followed by former EU Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou and former Prime Minister Costas Simitis, both at 3 percent. Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis was found to be the most popular ND official, at 9 percent.

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