Tsipras’s strategy fails to convince, opinion poll shows

Tsipras’s strategy fails to convince, opinion poll shows

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s strategy of promising civil service hirings and stoking political discussions about alleged political scandals in a bid to bolster the fortunes of his leftist SYRIZA party ahead of general elections next year does not appear to be bearing fruit, at least not according to one recent poll.

The survey, carried out by Pulse RC for Skai, found that 64 percent of respondents would not be swayed in their voting intentions by pledges of civil service jobs. Even those who voted for SYRIZA in the last elections claimed to be unmoved, with 61 percent saying the promises would not influence them (the rate rose to 71 percent among supporters of conservative New Democracy).

Respondents were also asked whether discussion about purported political scandals would influence their vote and more than half (53 percent) said it would have little to no effect.

Questioned about the government’s response to a spike in lawlessness, 73 percent of respondents said they were not satisfied.

The poll found SYRIZA to be trailing ND by 9 percentage points, with 30.5 percent saying they would vote for the latter compared to 21.5 percent for the former. The centrist Movement for Change would garner 7.5 percent, followed by neo-Nazi Golden Dawn with 7 percent and the Communist Party with 6 percent.

Independent Greeks (ANEL), which currently shares power with SYRIZA, would fail to enter Parliament, garnering just 1 percent of the vote.

Another opinion poll, by Public Issue, which was made public Thursday, put ND even further ahead of SYRIZA, with a lead of 16.5 percentage points.

During a speech in Parliament, where MPs debated a government bill aimed at lightening social security contributions for 250,000 non-salaried workers, Tsipras sought to focus on the “positive measures” being offered to offset the impact of austerity. He rebuffed accusations by his political rivals that his government has destroyed the middle class, saying ND was to blame.

ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who visited shopkeepers in the Athens neighborhood of Kypseli Thursday, said Tsipras’s “fantasy world… clashes with the harsh reality that Greek citizens live in every day.”

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