New Democracy Catches SYRIZA In Polls

ATHENS —There was good news and bad news for Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ New Democracy Conservatives in a survey that showed it is in a dead heat with the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) but that 41 percent of people aren’t interested in who wins.

Samaras has pushed austerity measures on the orders of international lenders while SYRIZA opposed the memorandum with the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) and had led the Conservatives in several recent polls.

The survey is important as Samaras and his coalition partner, the PASOK Socialists, face critical elections in May for the European Parliament and Greek municipalities which SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras will bring big wins for him and lead to early elections for the Greek government before its term runs out in 2016.

The poll conducted by Public Issue and published by Efimerida ton Syntakton showed New Democracy and SYRIZA with 15.5 percent of the vote, showing how disenchanted voters are with the country’s traditional parties.

The biggest surprise, however, was that a newly-established party, To Potami (The River) which doesn’t have an agenda, a leader or a single candidate but was formed by TV presenter Stavros Theodorakis is now third with seven percent, ahead of all the other established parties, and displacing the ultra extreme-right Golden Dawn in that spot.

To Potami was launched as a populist party that is anti-politician and seeks to gain a base across the spectrum in Greece from people disaffected by harsh austerity measures and what Theodorakis said is the unacceptable shenanigans of the ruling parties and others in the Parliament.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.