New poll gives leftist Syriza thin lead in Greek snap election

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 08, 2015 5:57 PM

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's leftist Syriza party has a 0.5 percentage-point lead over the New Democracy conservatives ahead of a snap election on Sept. 20, according to a poll published on Tuesday.

Former prime minister Alexis Tsipras's Syriza was on course to win 26.5 percent of the vote, while New Democracy would get 26.0 percent, the poll by Pulse for Action24 TV found.

Tsipras started out as the front-runner in the race but the two parties have been neck-and-neck in recent polls, making the election unexpectedly close.

The far-right Golden Dawn party, whose leader and senior lawmakers are standing trial on charges of being a criminal group, ranked third with 6.5 percent of the vote.

The poll showed the Independent Greeks, former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's junior coalition partner, is expected to get 2.0 percent of the vote, below the 3.0 percent threshold needed to enter parliament.

According to the poll, New Democracy leader Vangelis Meimarakis is ahead of Tsipras in popularity, with 44 percent of those surveyed expressing positive views versus 41 percent for the former premier.

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; editing by Phil Berlowitz)