Syriza is trailing conservative New Democracy (ND) by 8 percentage points in Greeks’ voting intentions, according to a new survey carried out by Pulse RC for Greek broadcaster Skai, with 34.5 percent of respondents saying they would vote for the ruling party of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis compared to 26.5 percent for the left wing Syriza.
According to the survey, the centre left PASOK-Movement for Change would garner 12 percent, followed by the Communist Party on 5 percent, the extreme nationalist Greek Solution on 4 percent and MeRA25 of former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis on 3 percent.
Mitsotakis was seen as the most suitable prime minister with 39 percent, compared to 28 percent for SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras.
Overall satisfaction with New Democracy has tapered after revelations that security services were spying on opposition politician, Nikos Androulakis in 2021. During a routine cybersecurity check at the end of July, the European Parliament informed Androulakis of the attempt to tap his phone with Predator surveillance software.
The ruling centre-right government and he national intelligence service are implicated in the case of Androulakis, leader of the centre-left Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) party, which has launched an inquiry to investigate why he was surveilled. The prime minister vehemently denies knowing about the spying attempt, and he was quick to launch a special investigation.
Other issues that will impact Greek voting intentions, in the lead up to next years election, include the rising cost of living, and suppressed wages. Fuel prices will impact on heating costs which are expected to rise in winter due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Greece has enjoyed a boon in tourism this year, as pent-up post Covid demand saw 35 million tourists visit the country.
Even though the prime minister is leading, a coalition of centre-left and left parties may come together to oust ND. While a coalition of centre right with right parties is less likely. ND may consider a coalition with PASOK-Movement for Change, as they had for a brief period during the financial crisis but that is less likely now when PASOK seeks to regain its past status as a major opposition force – itself also less likely.
Mr Mitsotakis wants ND to be viewed as a modern conservative party not anchored to Greece’s darker past, and he has given a wide berth to fringe right-wing parties. Prime minister Mitsotakis has also been active on the global front and has forged close cooperation with France, has supported NATO on Ukraine and has continued to forge closer ties with Israel, the US, Egypt and more recently Saudi Arabia. However, in Greece’s often Byzantine political manoeuvrings, it is hard to predict the outcome of elections, even if the ruling party lead by 8 points.