OPINION

Conclusions of the ‘reshuffle polls’

If we assume that politicians are telling the truth when they declare that opinion polls constitute the «tools of the trade» and that they accurately reflect the trends at any given moment in time, then the results of the telephone polls carried out over the two days after the reshuffle are extremely useful, especially for the government. Indeed, although they reveal that the overwhelming majority of respondents gave a positive answer when asked whether a reshuffle had been necessary – which was hardly surprising when one considers how exasperating the countdown has been – the polls also offer some less palatable conclusions that the government could use as a basis for implementing some much-needed and much-delayed corrective measures. The majority of respondents to the telephone polls said «no» when asked whether they believed that the government would improve after the reshuffle and whether it would contribute toward solutions to citizens’ everyday problems. With this in mind, it is probably fair to conclude that the reshuffle was a good public relations move for the government (as is generally the case) because it succeeded in shifting the focus away from the phone-tapping scandal and other problematic issues for the New Democracy administration. But this distraction can only last a few days. The poll conclusions are also useful for the main opposition PASOK party, which cannot ignore the evidence that the government is still holding strong in popularity, despite the fact that the polls were conducted under the cloud of the phone-tapping scandal which one would have expected to shake public faith in the government.