ATHENS – With elections looming this spring, the ruling New Democracy has maintained a 7.5 percent lead over the sniping major opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance, unlikely enough to form a government.
The poll taken by Pulse for SKAI TV gave New Democracy a 33.5-26 percent edge and the center-left PASOK-KINAL Movement for Change slipping a few points to 11 percent, still in a position to be a kingmaker or coalition partner in elections.
That’s because when SYRIZA was in power, in its last days ahead of July, 2019 snap polls the government pushed through the Parliament it controlled a measure removing a 50-seat bonus for the winner of an election.
With 300 seats in Parliament, that made it difficult for the winner of an election to have enough seats and to seek a coalition or a second election would be called, this time with a 30-seat bonus and greater chance of forming a government.
In fourth in the survey, in the same position it has held for decades without showing any progress was the KKE Communists at 6 percent, followed by the ultra-nationalist Greek Solution at 4 percent.
Last among the parties in Parliament, and below the 3 percent threshold needed to get back in was the MeRA25 led by Yanis Varoufakis, who had been SYRIZA’s finance chief before being forced out after refusing to go along with austerity.
The poll was conducted between Jan.19-23 on a sample of 1,205 citizens, taking in most of the recent events that have a bearing on the race and also gave Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis a 38-27 percent preference over SYRIZA leader and former premier Alexis Tsipras.