NEWS

Poll shows two main parties stronger

Support for Greece’s two largest parties, New Democracy and PASOK, appears to have strengthened over the last month, according to a new poll, despite their inability to agree over the best way to tackle the economic crisis. A Public Issue survey for Sunday’s Kathimerini suggests that the popularity of ND and PASOK has risen by a total of 2.5 percent – 1.5 percent for PASOK and 1 percent for ND – since the previous poll in February. This means that support for the Socialists now stands at 40 percent, while the conservatives trail in second with 35 percent. The Communist Party has 8.5 percent, the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) 7.5 percent, the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) 5 percent and the Green Ecologists 3 percent, which is the threshold for securing seats in Parliament. If these results were reflected in a general election, PASOK would not have enough parliamentary seats to form a government on its own. However, if there was a rerun, the Socialists would gain a clear majority in Parliament with 40 percent of the popular vote because a new electoral law, passed by the current government, would apply. PASOK leader George Papandreou, however, still trails Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis as the most suitable choice for premier. The gap between the two leaders, which was 4 percent last month, this month increased to 8 percent, according to Public Issue, with 40 percent of voters backing Karamanlis. Significantly though, 59 percent of voters believe PASOK will win the next elections and only 20 percent think ND will be victorious. But it appears most voters do not want snap polls. Just over one-third of respondents said early elections should be called while 56 percent said they are «probably not needed.»