Bloomberg News

New Democracy Leads in Three Polls as Most Greeks Want Coalition

March 24, 2012

The New Democracy Party, led by Antonis Samaras, would garner the most votes in the next election without winning a majority as most Greeks favor a coalition government, three opinion polls showed.

New Democracy was the top choice for voters while the socialist Pasok party, led by former Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, came in second, according to the results.

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos won parliamentary approval for a 130 billion-euro ($172 billion) bailout on March 21. Passage of the legislation moves the country a step closer to elections that may be held as soon as next month. Greece pushed through the biggest sovereign debt restructuring in history earlier this month, opening the way for the second bailout.

Pasok, the biggest party in parliament, improved its showing in the MRB poll with 12.1 percent of the vote, up from 8.2 percent last month after Venizelos replaced George Papandreou as leader on March 18. As many as eight parties could enter parliament according to the polls. The threshold for entry to parliament is 3 percent.

Of the 1,003 people polled by MRB for Real News from March 19 to March 20, 61.7 percent said neither Pasok nor New Democracy, the two parties supporting the country’s second loan package, would be best suited to solve Greece’s problems.

Coalition Best

Almost seven in ten, or 68 percent, said a coalition government was best for the country and 76.3 percent wanted to retain the euro as the country’s currency. About six in ten, or 63.2 percent, said bankruptcy was still a possibility for the country while 61.7 percent said they don’t expect economic development even if the country remains in the euro and implements austerity measures to receive financing.

Of the 1,012 people surveyed by Marc for Ethnos, 52.8 percent said the ratification of the second-loan package was the wrong decision, while 42.2 percent said it was the right choice. About three quarters, or 75.8 percent, said they prefer to remain in the euro.

When asked which of the two was best suited to lead the country, 28.5 percent said Samaras, 28.3 percent chose Venizelos, while 41.8 percent said neither.

Of the 1,011 people polled by Kappa Research for To Vima, 59.4 percent preferred a coalition government while 29.2 percent said a majority government would be better.

The polls were conducted by Kappa Research for To Vima from March 21 to March 22, MARC for Ethnos newspaper from March 19 to March 21 and MRB for Real News from March 19 to March 20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Stoukas in Athens at astoukas@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net


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