PASOK leader set for victory

PASOK President George Papandreou appears to have overturned his early deficit in the party’s leadership race and could even win enough votes on November 11 so as not to require a runoff ballot a week later, according to an opinion poll made public yesterday. According to the survey conducted by Public Issue on behalf of Kathimerini, Papandreou is considered «more suitable as leader» by half of PASOK voters whereas 32 percent believe Thessaloniki MP Evangelos Venizelos is better suited to the role. The third candidate, Costas Skandalidis, garnered only 7 percent. If no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote in the first ballot, the top two hopefuls will stand against each other on November 18. Support for Papandreou appears to have increased even though a greater number of PASOK supporters think that Venizelos is more capable of leading the Socialists to victory at the next election. When asked whether they would prefer their leader to be «one of them» or whether he should be someone who could win the general election, 53 percent of PASOK voters said they wanted a leader they could empathize with and only 20 percent said they wanted one would get the party back into power. Six in 10 PASOK voters said they feel closer to Papandreou but only 24 percent felt the same way about Venizelos. The poll also indicated that 55 percent of PASOK supporters think Papandreou will win whereas 32 percent believe Venizelos will be the party’s next leader.