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Greek Pasok Party Boosts Support Under Venizelos, Poll Shows

Greece’s socialist Pasok party has gained support since former Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos was elected the party’s leader, a poll showed.

Pasok, which was the biggest party in parliament before Prime Minister Lucas Papademos called elections for May 6, has 12.5 percent support, up from 10 percent in a poll on March 13, according to the survey of 1,206 eligible voters by Pulse RC for Tipos tis Kiriakis newspaper published today. Venizelos was elected Pasok leader on March 19.

Antonis Samaras’s conservative New Democracy party had 17 percent support, unchanged from last month, according to the poll. Neither New Democracy, which was the second-biggest party in the Greek parliament, nor Pasok would attract enough votes to win a majority, the poll indicated.

The combined 29.5 percent support for New Democracy and Pasok, who both participate in Greece’s current interim government, compares with the combined total of 43.5 percent for smaller parties that oppose austerity measures required as part of a 130 billion-euro ($170 billion) financial aid program for Greece.

The number of parties in the parliament would increase to seven from five if the election were held now, with the Democratic Left, the Independent Greeks and Chryssi Avghi, or Golden Dawn, all gaining representation for the first time, the poll suggested. The nationalist Laos party, which withdrew from the coalition government, would lose all its 16 seats, the poll showed.

The survey was conducted between April 9 and April 11; no margin of error was given.

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