Nationwide Survey on Political Developments in Greece
Survey and Analysis of Results
Analysis by John D. Papadopoulos and Mario Schmidt
a. Assessment of government policy
More than two months since the landslide of SYRIZA in snap elections the party reigns in domestic politics against the odds and the mounting negotiation and policy struggles with respect to the implementation of the bailout program. Many opposition parties are faced with downfall, with most striking ones these of front opposition New Democracy and The River party. Extreme right Golden Dawn and government coalition partner Independent Greeks remain steady, whereas PASOK and Centrists Union count significant loses. The only party that improves its performance is the Communists of KKE.
42% of Greeks assess SYRIZA-ANEL government positively or rather positively, whereas more than 1/2 (i.e. 53%) believe that the cohesion of the government is stable despite growing rumors from different sources for the opposite (i.e. government holds sensitive majority of 153/300 MPs).
On the evaluation of government performance on each of the major topics of domestic politics we have different observations. On the refugee crisis front and the hot-debated topic of NPLs of property loans, the government gathers 61% and 47% positive views respectively. The weakest support the government receives is centered on the issue of banks recapitalization and investments policy, with 33% and 30% respectively. Milder is the situation on the fight against corruption, whereas positive and negative views are almost equal, while on the ongoing negotiations on pension and social security reform positive views supersede negative ones so far by a small margin of 2%.
On the sovereign debt issue, 45% of Greeks believe that the government will finally achieve to bring a positive resolution. Similarly high is the support with regards to the safety nets for the most vulnerable parts of the society as 49% of the respondents believe that SYRIZA-ANEL government is emphasizing on the protection of weak social groups despite the tight frames and restricted resources for social policy set by the austerity deal. In addition, 59% believe that the government should not broaden its coalition and cooperation with other parties. This goes with the belief that the government cohesion is stable and that opposition parties do not want to truly support government on major topics.
b. Assessment of opposition parties
61% of Greeks negatively assess the stance of opposition parties with respect to the major political issues. This is also connected with the next question (i.e. No. 8) where 55% believe that opposition leaders invited in the meeting with Greek President Pavlopoulos and PM Tsipras had (and have) no intention to assist the government and address the domestic problems, mostly linked with the bailout deal.
As of the assessment of stance of opposition parties on major topics (i.e. question No. 3), Golden Dawn is the most negatively seen party, followed by PASOK, The River and Centrists Union, the Communist party and ND. With respect to the perception of the parties' voters on these issues, the Communist party and Golden Dawn gather the most positive views with 58% and 53% respectively, with PASOK and the Centrists Union to follow, and with ND and The River to rank in the last positions. This question (i..e No. 10) is also reflecting the cohesion of the parties and the degree of alignment of the parties' stance vis-à-vis the reflections of this stance on their voters. Voters of The River and PASOK are the least aligned with the policy line of their party's leadership, a fact that reveals space for change or, alternatively, more prospects for alignment of these voters with other parties.
c. Vote intention
SYRIZA is clearly leading the polls despite a downfall of around 10% from the result of September. ND does much worse, being also affected by internal struggles, whereas almost 28% stated "undecided". The River and Centrists Union do not pass the 3% threshold, whereas Popular Unity (i.e. dissenters of SYRIZA) is close to reach 3%, remaining though stable. The Communist party is doing better than anyone else in opposition, whereas Independent Greeks do not lose ground and secure their position.
Even if it is too early to talk about elections, SYRIZA voters remain coherent in their support for the government. The performance of the party resembles much with the performance couple of weeks before snap elections in September, showing both commitment and trust to the government, despite the difficult program ahead and the consequences of implementing a tough austerity program.
December 4, 2015