A public opinion poll in Greece has put radical leftwing Syriza party slightly ahead of its closest rival, signalling that former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s gamble to hold a snap election to strengthen his premiership could pay off.
The poll, conducted by Pulse for website bankingnews.gr and published on Monday, showed that Tsipras is on course to win 27 percent of the vote in the vote to be held on September 20 while the opposition conservative New Democracy party, is projected to get 26.5 percent of the vote.
Rightwing party Golden Dawn was third in the poll with 6.5 percent of the vote and Syriza’s former coalition partner, Independent Greeks, had 2.5 percent — less than the 3 percent threshold necessary to enter parliament.
Tsipras resigned last month, triggering second Greek election this year, just eight months after he came to power in January. Syriza’s tenure was first dogged by fraught negotiations with Greece’s international lenders over reforms and then by a rebellion within his party after he agreed to far-reaching austerity measures in return for a desperately needed third bailout.
On Monday, Tsipras said he was seeking an absolute majority for his party but indicated that a coalition government would be formed quickly if no party won enough seats to govern alone.
Reflecting public pessimism regardless of the election’s outcome, 61 percent of Syriza voters, and 67 percent of New Democracy supporters felt that the economic situation in Greece would be worse in 2016.