The Political Barometer for June captures trends in Greek public opinion, as these have been shaped just a few days prior to the emergency EU summit called to discuss the issue of Greece. (The survey was conducted 11-17/6/15).
In this context, two findings are of particular importance. First, the fact that support within Greek society for the present government and the prime minister remains more or less unchanged. Second, according to several indices, public attitudes towards the issue of the country’s negotiations appear more solid.
Yes to negotiation, no to retreat, no to elections
The radical change in the political climate ushered in by parliamentary elections on 25/1/15 continues, four months later, to determine the political scene and the relative strength of the parties. Despite the undoubted exacerbation of the social climate and, in particular, the worsening of expectations among households with regard to income and the outlook for the economy, the unprecedented – by Greek standards – post-electoral rallying of support for the new government remains strong (“rally around the flag effect”).
Who voted for SYRIZA. Change in party support, 2012-2015
Between 2012 and 2015, voter support for SYRIZA grew markedly, by 9.4% (from 26.9% to 36.3%). In just two years, its electoral base had expanded by almost 600,000 to total over 2.2 million voters. But the variations in the social composition of the vote for SYRIZA, as revealed by the most recent election result, have greater political importance. For, as can be seen empirically, for the first time to such a degree, a broad social alliance has been formed against the policy of austerity.
Why public opinion has not been receptive to the ‘theory of the two extremes’ According to a recent survey by Public Issue (November 2013), 6 in 10 respondents (61%) regard Golden Dawn as a party with ‘extreme views’, compared to only 1 out of 10 (11%) in the case of SYRIZA.