Greek government’s popularity narrows after deadly train accident, poll shows

train collision
Governing Nea Dimokratia party still leads but the main opposition SYRIZA gains votes, according to the poll. The deadly train accident of last week is taking a toll on the Greek government’s popularity, local media reported on Friday. According to a poll on March 4-7 for a major private broadcaster Antenna TV, the lead of governing conservative Nea Dimokratia’s (ND) party has narrowed to 4.6%. The poll revealed that ND would gain 29.6% and the main opposition left-wing SYRIZA 25% of the votes. Another center-left opposition PASOK party would garner 9.7% of the votes, the Communist Party (KKE) 5.6%, far-right Greek Solution 3.9%, former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis’s left-wing MeRA 25 3.5%, and the far-right Ellines party 3%, according to the poll. Greek law maintains a 3% threshold for parties to enter parliament. In a related development, the daily Kathimerini said the train accident changed the political settings in the country. Quoting sources, the daily added the government will promote the narrative that "obviously mistakes were made and we did not have time to fix everything.” Greek media agrees that the elections will certainly not be held on April 9, as planned by the government before the accident. The second or the third Sunday of May presently seems the most likely date. On Feb. 28, a passenger train collided with a freight train around the town of Tempi in the northern Larissa area. The official death toll stands at 57, including many university students and nine train crew members.​​​​​​​