Major parties losing support

Support for the country’s two major political parties, ruling Socialist PASOK and conservative New Democracy, has plummeted over the past month, according to the results of a new opinion poll which shows only one in five Greeks to be happy with the government, less than one in 10 satisfied with the conservatives and half favoring a new coalition administration. According to the results of the survey, carried out by polling firm Public Issue earlier this month on behalf of Kathimerini, only 22 percent of Greeks think the government has done a good job in tackling the problems faced by their debt-ridden country, down by 9 percent, and only 8 percent are happy with ND’s role as the country’s main opposition party. Half of the respondents in the survey, which was carried out with a sample of 1,006 citizens, indicated that they would prefer some kind of coalition government. More than a third (35 percent) said they would prefer a two-party coalition while 15 percent said they would like to see an all-party government. Only 13 percent said they wanted a majority PASOK government and just 3 percent a majority ND administration. The same survey shows that if elections were held now, PASOK would garner 45 percent of the vote, only slightly down from 46.5 percent last month, with ND amassing 27 percent. But the popularity of Prime Minister George Papandreou, who has led the drive to impose a raft of austerity measures, fell to 53 percent, from 68 percent last month. The survey also noted an increase in support for leftwing parties, and particularly for the Communist Party (KKE), which is seen garnering 10 percent of the vote if elections were held now. Some 6,000 KKE party members and supporters staged a rally in central Athens on Saturday to protest the government’s austerity measures.

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