While Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ New Democracy Conservatives are locked in essentially a dead heat with the major opposition party Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) for voter support, he has a nearly 2-1 edge as the people’s choice for Premier over his rival, Alexis Tsipras.
A survey by the firm Public Issue for the newspaper Kathimerini and its SKAI TV affiliate showed that if elections were held now that SYRIZA would get 29 percent and New Democracy 28.5 percent.
Asked about their preference for Prime Minister, 46 percent chose Samaras and only 26 picked Tsipiras, while 26 percent said neither was a good choice.
The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, which got only 0.29 percent in the 2009 elections, has rocketed into third place with a strong showing of 11.5 percent on the back of a platform to rid Greece of all immigrants. The Independent Greeks are fourth with 8 percent.
Samaras’ coalition partners are faring poorly. The PASOK Socialists, who had shared running the country for four decades with New Democracy, are fading out of sight, in fifth with only 7 percent, and the tiny Democratic Left lagging at 6 percent. The KKE Communists were last with 5.5 percent. PASOK got 44 percent in 2009.
Despite their collectively poor showing, the three-party coalition that is imposing austerity measures on the orders of international lenders together has the support of 37 percent of voters, far ahead of SYRIZA, with only 23 percent believing it could rule better.
Greek voters retain a gloomy opinion of the country’s prospects with 72 percent believing that Greece is heading in the wrong direction, 63 percent seeing a need for “deep changes” in society and 23 percent stating that the only way forward is radical change by means of a revolution.
Six in 10 Greeks (63 percent) said they believed that early general elections were not necessary but 51 percent said they believed that snap polls were inevitable before the end of the current government’s four-year term. Meanwhile an overwhelming majority of 96 percent said they believed the new tax system is unfair while 80 percent said they expected upheaval in the labor sector over the next three months.