New Democracy, SYRIZA Share Lead

Tsipras with Samaras

ATHENS – Echoing previous polls virtually all this year, two more surveys released on Nov. 30 showed the ruling New Democracy (ND) Conservatives and the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) are neck-and-neck in popular support.

The Marc poll for the Ependitis newspaper put SYRIZA in first with 29.7 percent and New Democracy at 27.8. The fading ultra-right extremists of Golden Dawn were third but with only 8.8 percent, a sharp drop in the wake of the arrest of party leaders on charges of running a criminal gang.

Next came the Independent Greeks at 6.7 percent, the Communist Party (KKE) with 6.6 percent, the PASOK Socialists who are a member of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ ND-led coalition, with 6.4 percent and the Democratic Left (DIMAR) at 5.8 percent.

But more than 15 percent of voters were undecided and another 6.5 percent said they would cast a blank ballot, showing one-fifth of Greeks are so unhappy with all the parties that they feel disenfranchised.

A Metrisis poll for Parapolitika weekly, however, indicated that New Democracy is just ahead of SYRIZA, giving the Conservatives a lead of 21.5-20.6 percent, negligible given the margin of error, showing the parties are essentially deadlocked.

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras has been trying to convince Greeks that there should be elections before 2016 although polls show while their parties are neck-and-neck that Samaras if ar and away the people’s choice to be Premier.

In this survey, Golden Dawn came in third with just 6.1 percent, below the 6.97 percent they won in the 2012 elections to gain 18 seats in Parliament.

Then came the Communists at 4.9 percent, PASOK with only 4.3 percent, Independent Greeks at 3.1 percent and DIMAR, which also served in Samaras’ coalition before leaving in a dispute over the firing of workers at the closed state broadcaster ERT, dead last at 1.6 percent, little more than half the 3 percent needed to enter Parliament in elections.

In even worse news for the state of Greek politics during a crushing economic crisis, some 0.6 percent of those questioned by Metrisis said they were undecided, showing how distanced Greeks feel from their leaders.