Greece’s socialist Pasok party has jumped to second place from fifth in public estimation since former Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos was elected the party’s leader, a poll showed.
Pasok, the biggest party in parliament, has 15.5 percent support, up from 11 percent in a poll on March 16, according to the survey of 1,017 eligible voters by Public Issue SA for Kathimerini newspaper and Skai TV. Venizelos was elected Pasok leader on March 19.
While Antonis Samaras’s conservative New Democracy party continues to attract most voter preferences, support fell to 22.5 percent from 25 percent, according to the poll which was published today by Athens-based Kathimerini. Neither New Democracy, the second-biggest party in the Greek parliament, nor Pasok would attract enough votes to win a majority, the poll indicated.
While the personal approval rating of Venizelos slipped to 29 percent from 30 percent and rose to 31 percent from 28 percent for Samaras, the two men each had 18 percent of voter support as to who would be the best candidate for prime minister, the poll showed.
The Coalition of the Radical Left remained in third place with 12.5 percent support while the Democratic Left party dropped from second place to joint fourth, along with the Communist Party, with each political movement attracting 12 percent support. Fotis Kouvelis, who leads the Democratic Left, had the highest personal approval rating with 54 percent.
Support for the Independent Greeks party, set up on Feb. 24 by Panos Kammenos after he was expelled from New Democracy for voting against a second aid agreement that came with tough austerity measures, increased to 8.5 percent from 6.5 percent.
The poll found that the Green-Ecologist Party and the Chryssi Avghi, or Golden Dawn, party would both have members of parliament for the first time.
The nationalist Laos party, which withdrew from Greece’s coalition government, would lose all its current 15 seats with support falling to 2 percent from 4 percent, below the 3 percent threshold that is necessary to enter parliament.
The survey was conducted between March 22 and March 26 and had a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points. Elections are to be held in Greece later this month or in May.
To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Tugwell in Athens at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at firstname.lastname@example.org