NEWS

SYRIZA benefits from PASOK dip

Voters are deserting PASOK and flocking to the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), under the new leadership of 33-year-old Alexis Tsipras, according to a new opinion poll, which has also recorded a dip in support for the government. The Public Issue survey, conducted on behalf of Kathimerini and Skai TV and Radio, indicated that since February, support for the PASOK socialists has dropped from 35 percent to 31 percent, while backing for SYRIZA has shot up from 11.5 percent to 17 percent. The ruling New Democracy conservatives have experienced a decline of one point to 37.5 percent. Tsipras’s election as SYRIZA leader was expected to result in a wave of younger voters switching their allegiance from one of the two main parties. But the poll suggests that 24 percent of the respondents who said they would vote for SYRIZA were aged between 35 and 54. More than half of Greeks (54 percent) now appear to think that neither New Democracy nor PASOK can deal with the country’s problems. This represents a 13 percent rise from last month. At a time when inflation is on the rise, almost six in 10 Greeks believe that the economy is the biggest issue facing the country. The poll results put added pressure on PASOK leader George Papandreou as his party prepares for a conference due to start tomorrow. Papandreou will seek to use the conference as an opportunity to show that his party is in a process of renewal, by promoting a number of under-35s to the national council, PASOK sources said.