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New Democracy Moves Ahead of Syriza, Greek Poll Shows

A Greek opinion poll showed the bailout-supporting New Democracy party, Greece’s biggest, ahead of its main rival for the first time since the inconclusive May 6 elections as the campaign for the June 17 rerun kicked off.

New Democracy got 23.1 percent while Syriza, which is opposed to implementing Greece’s international rescue, had 21 percent, the survey of 1,027 Greeks by Marc for Alpha TV showed. The Pasok party garnered 13.2 percent, according to the poll, which was broadcast on Athens-based Alpha TV.

Based on the seat-allocation formula, New Democracy would get 26.1 percent, or 123 seats in the 300-member Greek Parliament, the poll showed. That would still leave the party short of outright victory. Syriza would have 66 seats while Pasok would have 41, the poll showed.

On the basis of those figures, Pasok and New Democracy, the two parties that supported an international rescue in an interim government this year, would hold a majority in the 300-seat parliament. The May 6 election left them two deputies short of the majority of 151 seats needed.

New election were called after after parties failed to agree on a coalition government.

The political standoff has reignited concern the country will renege on pledges to cut spending as required by the two separate rescue packages worth 240 billion euros ($306 billion). That could lead to funding being cut off and Greece ultimately leaving the euro area.

The margin of error for the poll, which was conducted May 15 to May 17, ranged between 2.7 percentage points and 2.6 percentage points.

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