Negative mood fails to damage PASOK

Despite three in four Greeks being unhappy about their lives at the moment, the current PASOK government would still comfortably win the general elections if they were held now, according to a new opinion poll. The survey, conducted by Public Issue for Sunday’s Kathimerini and Skai TV, indicates that PASOK would gain 39 percent of the vote, compared to 30 percent for New Democracy, giving the Socialists a comfortable majority in Parliament. The difference between the two main parties in the poll is much larger than the gap suggested by last month’s local elections, which points to the fact that ND has yet to build on the wear and tear the government is suffering as a result of implementing an austerity program to improve Greece’s fiscal stability. Other notable aspects of the poll’s findings include a rise to double digits, 11 percent, for the Communist Party, and nonparliamentary parties Democratic Left and Dora Bakoyannis’s Democratic Alliance gaining 2.5 and 2 percent respectively. Also of note is the proportion of those who say they would abstain: 29 percent. Although much lower than the rate of almost 50 percent experienced in the local polls last month, almost one in three is still a high rate by Greek standards. Despite receiving criticism, Prime Minister George Papandreou’s approval ratings increased over the last month. He is popular with 47 percent of voters this month compared to 43 percent in November. ND leader Antonis Samaras saw his ratings drop from 38 percent to 34. However, it is clear there is a negative mood among Greeks. Apart from 75 percent saying they are unhappy with life, 81 percent are not pleased with how democracy is functioning and 84 percent are not confident about the viability of the social security system.

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