A Pulse survey for the satirical newspaper To Pontiki (The Mouse) gives the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) a two percent edge over the ruling New Democracy in the May elections for the European Parliament, but also showing both parties dropping in the public eye.
The biggest surprise was the shock showing of a new party, To Potami (The River) which was just formed by former TV presenter Stavros Theodorakis and has no agenda, no candidates and no leader.
To Potami however has hit a nerve with its populist, anti-politician stance, picking up a beat that voters are angry over lingering austerity measures imposed by New Democracy Conservative leader, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his coalition partner the PASOK Socialists, and that SYRIZA isn’t the only alternative and with the ruling parties facing a sizeable protest vote.
To Potami was tied for third at 10 percent with the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, most of whose leaders have been arrested or jailed awaiting charges of running a criminal organization, and two of whose lawmakers have left the party, one who quit and another ejected before he could resign.
SYRIZA had 19 percent to New Democracy’s 17 percent. In fifth at at 6.5 percent came PASOK, which is now tied to a new political grouping, Elia (The Olive Tree) as the Socialists are desperate to avoid disappearing as a political party only four years after winning the prime minister’s office with 44 percent support.
Following were the KKE Communists at 5 percent, then the Independent Greeks with 3.5 percent, barely above the 3 percent threshold needed to win seats in Parliament.
The Democratic Left (DIMAR) has paid a heavy price for briefly joining the government coalition and supporting measures antithetical to its agenda, fading to 2 percent. Some 12 percent are undecided.
SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, who is opposed to the terms of two bailout measures of $325 billion from the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) said he believes the government will be repudiated in the May elections, including in Greek municipalities, and that it will force early national elections he predicted that SYRIZA will win.