ATHENS – A month before the July 7 snap polls that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called, a survey showed the major opposition New Democracy holding a 7.7 percent lead over the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA.
That was down from the 9 percent margin the Conservatives enjoyed in beating SYRIZA candidates in May 26 elections for Greek municipalities and the European Parliament, such a decisive beating that Tsipras called the snap polls after saying he would rule out his term until October.
The finding came in a Metron Analysis poll that showed New Democracy with a 31.2-23.5 percent lead as Tsipras hopes to find some way to claw himself back to power instead of turning over the reins to the Conservatives leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
The two dominant parties were far ahead with third, at 6.1 percent, going to the center-left Movement for Change (KINAL) that is led by veterans of the now-defunct PASOK Socialists who were obliterated after going against the party’s alleged principles to support austerity while serving New Democracy in a previous coalition.
Fourth at 3.8 percent was the KKE Communists in their usual position and last in fifth was the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn at 3.6 percent, about half what they had been showing, losing backers to the new extreme-right, ultra-religious, pro-Russia Greek Solution (Ellinki Lysi) at 1.7 percent – below the 3 percent needed to get into Parliament.
That was a big drop for the new party which got 4.18 percent in the May 26 elections and shows that it could be losing favor fast. Also on the outs is the MeRA25 party founded by former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, who was ousted by Tsipras after Greece’s European creditors said they couldn’t work with him.
Varoufakis’ party was showing at 2.8 percent as he shunned interviews with some media and didn’t try to promote what he wanted while castigating the European Parliament and continuing to snipe at Tsipras.
Not running again are two other parties in Parliament, To Potami (The River,) whose support dried up after leader Stavros Theodorakis failed to galvanize the public and waffled over what he wanted, and the tiny, pro-austerity, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL.)
Led by former defense minister Panos Kammenos, who pulled his party out as a junior partner in a SYRIZA-led coalition after Tsipras gave away the name of the ancient Greek province of Macedonia to a newly-renamed North Macedonia, ANEL was 15th in the May 26 elections with 0.8 percent of the vote.
Also under the 3 percent threshold and unlikely to return is the Union of Centrists which has spent 4 ½ years sitting in Parliament without making any impact and rarely speaking out on any issue.
In terms of vote estimate, which does not take into account responses such as “I will not vote,” “Undecided,” “No answer” or voting Blank, New Democracy has a 10.2 percent lead, said Kathimerini. The poll was conducted in a sample of 1,203 people between June 3-5 on behalf of private TV channel Alpha.