SYRIZA and New Democracy go into the last week of the election campaign with a fine margin separating them, according to the latest poll conducted by the University of Macedonia for Skai TV and Kathimerini.
The survey shows SYRIZA ahead on 28.5 percent and New Democracy just behind on 27.5. Compared to the data gathered by the same pollster a week earlier, SYRIZA has increased its support by 1.5 percentage points and New Democracy by half a point.
Golden Dawn is still in third place on 7 percent, followed by the Communist Party on 6 percent. PASOK is in fifth after seeing its backing increase by 1 percentage point during the past week to 5.5 percent. Potami follows on 5 percent and the Union of Centrists remains stable on 4.5 percent. Anti-bailout Popular Unity is seen slipping 1 point to 3 percent, which is the borderline for entering Parliament. Independent Greeks continues to languish below the threshold on 2 percent.
According to the University of Macedonia there has been a decrease in the percentage of SYRIZA voters saying they will abstain, from 33.5 percent to 27.5 percent. Fewer ND voters are also planning to stay away from polling stations next Sunday (6.5 percent from 8.5 percent a week earlier) but the conservatives had already managed to rally the vast majority of their support from the January elections anyway.
Almost seven in 10 respondents said they watched the leaders’ debate on Wednesday but 84 percent said they were completely unaffected by the discussion as far as their voting preferences are concerned.
In terms of which leader put in the best performance during the televised event, 19 percent felt it was New Democracy’s Evangelos Meimarakis and 13.5 percent said SYRIZA chief Alexis Tsipras. However, a third of respondents said none of the leaders was convincing.
Meimarakis is due to speak at the Thessaloniki International Fair on Satursday. This will be followed by a news conference on Sunday. He and Tsipras are then due to hold a head-to-head TV debate on Monday evening. The format of the latest discussion is due to be finalized over the weekend.