NEWS

ND leads PASOK in latest opinion poll

The conservative opposition party, New Democracy, continues to lead the ruling PASOK party in opinion surveys but the gap has been narrowing, according to the latest nationwide poll. The poll by Kapa Research, published in To Vima yesterday, also found that Prime Minister Costas Simitis still enjoys a slim lead over ND’s Costas Karamanlis as to who is better suited for the job of prime minister. The poll was conducted among 1,979 adults on September 13-19, after the terrorist attack on the United States. Asked which party leader they believed most capable of being prime minister, 34.3 percent choose Simitis while 33.6 percent picked Karamanlis. In May, the company’s previous poll gave 31.7 percent to Simitis and 30.8 percent to Karamanlis. Simitis scored more on the issues of ability, international standing, inspiring a sense of security, and ability to handle economic and international crises. Karamanlis was seen as more modern, as having a vision for Greece, as more approachable and more able to express the interests of the Greeks. If elections were held today, 36.1 percent would vote for New Democracy while 30.7 percent for PASOK, compared to 29.7 percent and 22.9 percent, respectively, in the May poll. The recently-formed Movement of Free Citizens dropped to 6.3 percent from 9.1 percent in May, the Communist Party to 5.6 percent (from 5.8 percent), the Left Coalition 3.1 percent (from 2.7 percent). The undecided were at 12.4 percent. Nearly half of the respondents (47.8 percent) said they expected New Democracy to win the next elections, with 33.5 percent seeing a PASOK victory.