Wide ND lead over SYRIZA party unchanged, according to latest poll; heated unofficial reax by govt

26 June 2017
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Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party enjoys a seven-percentage-point lead over ruling SYRIZA party in the latest opinion poll result, which was published on Sunday by the weekly “Vima”.
Specifically, the center-right party was given 23.2 percent of respondents’ preference to leftist and previous anti-austerity SYRIZA’s 16.2 percent. The poll was conducted by the Kapa Research firm.
After extrapolating the results, especially a 27-percent figure for the “undecided” tally, ND reaches 31.8 percent to SYRIZA’s 22.2 percent.
A more pro-reform minded ND under Kyriakos Mitsotakis has consistently led SYRIZA in all mainstream opinion polls over the past few months by double-digit margins.
As with previous results of other similar polls, the ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) party came in third (6.6 percent), followed by a socialist PASOK-led grouping with 6.4 percent. The only other party given above 3 percent of respondents’ preferences is the Communist Party (KKE), with 6.1 percent.
To enter Greece’s Parliament a political party must exceed 3 percent of the total vote (excluding blank and void ballots) in a general election.
Asked which party they believe will come in first in any pending election – regardless of who they support – 61.5 percent of respondents picked New Democracy.
Leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ approval ratings also continued to slip, as he was favorably judged by 22.5 percent of respondents; Mitsotakis was at 30.5 percent.
Finally, asked about a recent decision at the Eurogroup regarding the Greek bailout program, 58.5 percent of those surveyed said it was negative; 32.5 percent said it was positive or probably positive.
Govt reaction
In a subsequent and sharply worded response, the coalition government issued a 968-word “non-paper” hours after the poll was published in the weekly “Vima”, charging that there is no momentum in favor of the main opposition party and that results show most citizens do not favor snap elections – a standing ND demands for months.
Moreover, in its now standard “unofficial” manner, the leftist-rightist government coalition said ND’s “wager” that the more-than-year-long delayed second review of the Greek program would not be concluded this month fizzled out, whereas the center-right party was now employing “shady methods of eavesdropping and blackmail” in aligning itself with certain businessmen.
In bypassing the voters’ preference category and the prime minister’s approval ratings, the government non-paper focused on a 46.5-percent figure of respondents who agreed with the position that the current government should be extended more time in office.
Another result it pinpointed in the Kapa Research poll was a 52.5-percent figure showing that the primary issue that should be dealt with is the country’s “growth model within the Eurozone and adherence to (memorandum-mandated) agreements.”
The written response even employed a correlation between the initial (low) popularity ratings given to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and how he actually performed in the British elections earlier this month with the current ratings enjoyed by Mitsotakis over Tsipras.
“Let ND, therefore, rejoice now, as long as it can with the opinion polls, because in 2019, the ballot boxes will have their say; and its (ND) joy will then sour, because the people have knowledge and judgment,” the non-paper concluded.

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