ATHENS (Reuters) – The lead held by Greek opposition party Syriza over the ruling conservatives has narrowed, according to three polls conducted after Prime Minister Antonis Samaras called a snap parliamentary election for January 25.
An Alco survey to be published in the To Pontiki newspaper on Thursday showed the radical leftist Syriza, which opposes Greece’s international bailout programme, would win a 33.8 per cent share of the vote if elections were held now, ahead of Samaras’s New Democracy party, which would take 30.5 per cent.
That marked a slight drop from a 3.6-point lead Syriza held in the previous Alco survey. Syriza wants to scrap the painful austerity measures agreed by Greece under a 240 billion euro bailout programme with its international creditors.
A poll conducted by GPO pollsters for Greek MEGA TV showed Syriza maintaining a 3.2 percentage point lead over the conservatives. Syriza had a 4.9 point lead in a survey conducted by the same polling agency last month.
A third survey conducted by Pulse on January 5-6 showed Syriza’s lead eroding to 3.5 points from four points two weeks ago.
A party set up by former prime minister George Papandreou last week – the Movement of Democratic Socialists – garnered 2.7 per cent in the Alco poll, 2.6 per cent in the GPO survey and 2.5 in the poll conducted by Pulse.
The polls were the first to include the new party, which is expected to siphon away votes from the Socialist PASOK that it split from, as well as other leftist parties including Syriza and the centrist To Potami.
There is a three per cent threshold for a party to win seats in the Greek parliament.
Greek lawmakers failed to elect a president last week, triggering the dissolution of parliament and the snap election. Syriza has been ahead of the government in opinion polls for months but its lead has shrunk in recent weeks.