Elections Coming, New Democracy Leads Big Over SYRIZA

FILE - Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis during plenary discussions for the revision of the constitution, Nov. 14, 2018. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Yorgos Kontarinis)

ATHENS – With Greek municipal and European Parliament elections May 26, and national elections coming by October, the major opposition New Democracy continues to hold a double-digit lead over the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA that plummeted after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reneged for more than four years on anti-austerity promises.

The latest survey, by the firm Interview for the Vergina TV station in northern Greece, gave New Democracy a 10.5 percent lead in general elections and 13.7 percent for their candidates to become European Union lawmakers.

New Democracy held a 34-23.5 percent edge for the European Parliament and 36.4-22.7 percent for the general elections, with Tsipras now on a rampage of handouts and trying to wiggle out of more reforms he agreed with international creditors as he tries to regain favor with voters

Even worse for Tsipras and the Leftists, the survey – in an area of the ancient province of Macedonia, whose name Tsipras gave away for the newly-renamed North Macedonia to Greece’s north – regardless of their party standing, 72.8 percent of respondents said New Democracy would easily win the elections, and only 21 percent picked SYRIZA.

Another poll, by Metron Analysis for the Alpha television station of Athens, gave New Democracy a 7.3 percent lead for the European Parliament election, and a 7.8-point lead for a general election, their lowest margin in recent polls.

Based on the responses, only three other parties would get above the 3 percent threshold needed to get back into Parliament, the center-left Movement for Change (KINAL) at 6.6 percent, the KKE Communists at 5.6 percent and the ultra-extreme right Golden Dawn, whose 15 lawmakers and dozens of members are in the fourth year of a trial on charges of running a criminal gang and using neo-Nazi tactics, which they deny.

Golden Dawn polled at 4.6 percent while on the outs are three other parties in Parliament, To Potami (The River,) the Union of Centrists and SYRIZA’s former junior coalition partner, the pro-austerity, marginal, jingoistic Independent Greek (ANEL) of former defense minister Panos Kammenos, who withdrew from the administration in opposition to the North Macedonia name deal giveaway.