Greece: UE elections; Pasok alarm over slide in opinion poll

As new party 'The River' makes a strong debut

07 March, 14:46

    (ANSAmed) - ATHENS, MARCH 7 - Alarm bells were ringing in the Socialist party Pasok camp on Thursday after a new opinion poll indicated that support for the Socialists ahead of May's European Parliament elections is running at less than 4%.

    According to sources quoted by daily Kathimerini, people close to Pasok leader Evangelos Venizelos are advising him to adopt an open-minded approach to the naming of the party's electoral candidates in a bid to maximize its appeal on May 25, when it will stand as part of an 'Olive Tree' alliance with smaller parties. Some of Venizelos's aides have suggested that this should even involve the party leader approaching candidates that are loyal to former Pasok president George Papandreou. So far, Venizelos has found it difficult to convince candidates of any stature to stand in the May polls due to the party's continuing dive in the polls.

    A survey conducted by Alco on behalf of the NewsIt website indicated yesterday that just 3.8% of voters intend to back Pasok in May. The poll gave main opposition party Syriza a small lead over New Democracy, with the leftists garnering 20.9% against 20% for the conservatives. Neo-nazi Golden Dawn came in third with 6.9%. Surprisingly, the new party formed by journalist Stavros Theodorakis this week, 'To Potami' (The River), gathered 5.7% even though it does not have any candidates or concrete policies yet. The Alco survey indicated that much of the party's support was drawn from the left and center-left. Nearly 13% of those who said they would vote for Potami previously supported Democratic Left, 8.1% Pasok and 7.7% Syriza. (ANSAmed).

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