Greece: Rise in Support for Grexit; Fall in Support for SYRIZA

Highest levels recorded against Eurozone and EU membership following Brexit

Many reservations can be expressed regarding the accuracy of predictions that polls can provide especially as far as the electoral appeal of the parties is concerned. However in the two latest polls that were published in Greece, one by ALCO for the ‘Parapolitika’ newspaper and another for the Macedonian University, the main moods in Greek society are highlighted. These are:

  • SYRIZA experiences a sharp fall in support: 86% of people that were interviewed are not satisfied with the government. Even 69% of SYRIZA voters declare that they are not satisfied with the government. The peoples’ confidence in the government has hit a record low.
  • The New Democracy party is significantly ahead in the polls, having consolidated the support of 86% of its September 2015 election voters

These two aspects demonstrate that SYRIZA’s fall, less than one year since its electoral victory, seems irreversible. Especially since it is only since last week (after these polls have been taken place) that pensioners felt what the new “social security legislation” means in their pockets and what cuts in pensions are really about. The policies imposed by the ‘third memorandum’ will only now begin to have an actual effect on society.

At the same time, New Democracy (ND), the traditional party of the bourgeoisie, is recovering from its inter-party crisis of the last six months and is preparing for an electoral re-match. This is since the policies the ND traditionally supports are now being imposed by SYRIZA.

Golden Dawn fascists, despite their internal crisis, the legal persecution of their leadership and the absence of any initiatives by them during the last two years, still managed to stabilize support at 7–8%, which gives them the third position in all the recent polls.

The parties of the Left (KKE, LAE, ANTARSYA and Pleysis (the party of the former president of the Parliament Zoi Konstantopoulou) hover around their normal low percentages, with only the KKE (Greek communist party) seeming to be able to enter parliament. This makes it very difficult (due to different reasons for each party) for them to be able to really play a significant role, at some levels, in the next period.

However the most important aspect that these polls demonstrate is not the electoral appeal of the parties. Anyone can infer this from the atmosphere, anyway.

Brexit and Grexit

The most important element of these most recent polls is the swings both in favor of Brexit and of Grexit. In particular, in the ALCO poll, 39.4% of those interviewed would vote in favor of Grexit, as opposed to the 48.3%. The rest are “don’t knows”.

In the Macedonian University poll, 40.5% thinks that Brexit is a positive development for Britain as opposed to 43%. As far the participation of Greece in the Eurozone, 53.5% would vote for Greece remaining in, while the 37% would prefer a return to the national currency. The rest are “don’t knows”.

These tendencies demonstrate the highest ever percentages against the EU and the Euro! They are important for two more reasons.

Firstly, none of the major parties is supporting exit from the Eurozone, except the KKE. Even after SYRIZA’s integration into the bourgeois block, it is obvious that the ruling class cannot persuade society about the “benefits” of euro. Despite the fact that all of the parliamentary parties, apart from KKE, are supporting “Gremain” at all costs, large parts of the society are moving in the opposite direction.

Secondly, these tendencies demonstrate the huge vacuum that exists on the Left. Even though the support for Grexit is getting much greater, even though about half the population consider Brexit as a positive development, and even though the Greek working people experience the disastrous effects of the policies that were implemented in order to remain in the Eurozone, the main parties of the Left remain small and in relative isolation from society.

The problem is subjective: it is not due to the objective circumstances and not due to society “not understanding”, as sections of the Left and, particularly the KKE, never tire of repeating. It is fundamentally due to the “deficiencies” of the Left, the mistaken policies proposed and the tactics employed by the parties of the Left. If the Left does not overcome its deficiencies to try to understand them, they will never be solved and the vacuum on the Left will not be occupied.

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