Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party continues to field a double-digit percentage point lead over ruling SYRIZA party in the latest opinion poll results unveiled on Thursday.
The continued incarceration of two Greek servicemen in Turkey on pre-trial detention, after the pair allegedly strayed into the neighboring country on March 1, as well as a perceived crime wave in the country – especially in the greater Athens – are viewed as sapping the already shaky leftist-rightist coalition government’s support.
Both issues were among the bevy of questions on which respondents were queried.
According to results of the opinion poll, center-right ND is preferred by 31.5 percent of respondents, to 21.5 percent for previously radical left SYRIZA. The percentages garnered by the two parties are similar with the results of a poll by the same firm, Pulse, conducted and presented last month.
The poll was commissioned and presented on the prime-time newscast of Athens-based Skai broadcaster.
A distant third place again went to the Kinima Allaghis (Movement for Change) grouping, at 9 percent. The latter is mostly comprised of the once dominant socialist PASOK party, but also includes a handful of center-left and centrist parties.
Ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) is preferred by 8 percent of respondents, the same support it received in a similar poll last month.
Finally, the Communist Party (KKE) is preferred by 6.5 percent of respondents, increasing its take by a half a percentage point from last month.
No other party or grouping received more than 3 percent, the figure needed in a general election – as a percentage of valid votes – to enter the 300-deputy Parliament.
Leftist SYRIZA’s junior coalition partner, the right-wing and populist Independent Greeks’ (AN.EL) party, for instance, polls a disappointing 2 percent.
One finding in the results showed that 11 percent of respondents, who said they voted for SYRIZA in the last election, now declared that they would vote for ND. The ruling party also showed losses of previous supporters who said they are now undecided or will consider casting a blank or invalid vote – roughly one fifth of its previous bulk of supporters.
Finally, 55 out of 100 respondents said they expect that ND will come in first in the next election.