Update: You can find an update to the Greek surveys described below, as well as other information, here.
Market News International, the financial news outlet of Deutsche Boerse reported today (April 11, 2012) that an unnamed government source had leaked the likely date of the next legislative election in Greece as May 6, 2012. Interestingly, this is the same date as the second round of the French presidential election, so it is not altogether unlikely that there will be a spillover of the debate in both countries, as happened in Portugal and Finland last year. Whether this will accelerate the next crisis or not is impossible to tell.
The following lines describe voter intention polls, surveys of party leaders’ popularity and attitudes towards a greek default. If readers fluent in Greek find any error of translation, please inform me. As I am not fluent, I have had to use Google translate, and so errors are not impossible.
According to MRB‘s latest voter intention survey, the progression of voter intentions has seen a large decrease in the support for PASOK (Socialists, in government now) in favour of New Democracy ( Centre right opposition). More interestingly, there is a vast percentage of the electorate that will either not vote, vote in blank, or invalidly on purpose:
Popularity of leaders: According to the same study, the most popular leader is Fotis Kouvelis of the Democratic Left. Notwithstanding this, there are more people with a negative opinion of him than a positive one. At the very bottom, behind the nationalists there’s a sad spot for Papandreou.
This largely reflects a complete loss of faith in the governing ability of any political party.
Future of Greek debt: Will Greece Default?
Most interesting to me, the majority of Greeks believe it is either very likely or rather possible that a Greek default. This is not altogether surprising. I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of them thought that the restructuring that took place in March was precisely that.
Not withstanding this, it is still interesting to see the general mood on this issue. If anything it could interpreted as a mandate to unilaterally default. This is particularly likely if the next government is not a grand coalition, even if it is not in their national interest. However, I would expect PASOK and ND to put their differences aside, particularly now that Papandreou is out.
If the above intentions hold for the next month, and if the election is indeed held then, then a “Grand” coalition is likely to emerge in parliament. If leaders are smart, they will request that Mr Papademos remain prime minister, for the sake of market confidence.
If you are interested I would recommend that you read the whole document. It is packed with interesting information about Greek society and its political attitudes and intentions. If you cannot read Greek, I would refer you to Google translate or to someone who does. If you are interested in learning more about the Greek political system, its parties and their leaders, I would recommend the following websites:
- Wikipedia: Politics of Greece
- Wikipedia: List of political parties in Greece (this website has links to political leaders and their parties. For specific leaders mentioned in this post but not in this link, check: Haris Kastanidis and Nikolaos Michaloliakos)