Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- The number of Greeks who would vote for either of the nation’s largest political parties if an election were held now reached its lowest since the return of democracy in 1974, according to an opinion poll by MRB for the newspaper Real News to be published in tomorrow’s edition.
The conservative New Democracy would receive 19 percent support from likely voters, down from 20.7 percent in a Dec. 1- 8 poll, while the socialist Pasok party, which won the last election in 2009 and has the most seats in parliament, would get 8.2 percent, compared with 12.1 percent in the previous poll.
The Democratic Left would get 10.1 percent support, and 8.8 percent of voters would choose the Communist Party of Greece. Syriza, or the Coalition of the Radical Left, would get 8.2 percent while the nationalist Laos party would garner 3.4 percent.
Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos won parliamentary approval Feb. 13 for austerity measures to secure a second international aid package after rioters protesting the legislation battled police and set fire to buildings in downtown Athens. Both Pasok and New Democracy supported the measures.
Antonis Samaras, leader of New Democracy, had a negative rating of 63.2 percent while former Prime Minister and Pasok leader George Papandreou had a disapproval rating of 80.4 percent. Fotis Kouvelis, who leads the Democratic Left, had a 36.6 percent percent approval rating.
If New Democracy wins the next election, “we will remain committed to the program’s objectives, targets and key policies,” Samaras wrote in a letter sent to the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund this past week.
Almost six out of 10 people polled, or 59 percent, said the country should hold general elections immediately or straight after a Greek debt-swap deal is concluded, while 30.8 percent favored elections between the middle of this year and the end of 2013.
The poll of 1,016 people was conducted between Feb. 14 and Feb. 16. No overall margin of error was provided.
--Editor: Dick Schumacher
To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Tugwell in Athens at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at firstname.lastname@example.org