Support for Golden Dawn has fallen to pre-election levels according a new poll, which also suggests that about a fifth of Greeks do not have a dim view of the neofascist party despite the recent arrest of its leadership.
The Alco survey published on Sunday indicated that support for the extremist party had fallen to 6.4 percent, which is half a percentage point less than the vote it received in last June’s elections. Significantly, the figures for October are considerably down on June, when the party’s backing reached 10.8 percent.
Despite the drop in support, the poll published in Proto Thema newspaper underlines the findings of other surveys in the past few days, which show that a sizeable proportion of Greeks are not yet willing to believe that Golden Dawn is the threat to Greece that its opponents and the country’s authorities claim.
Although 68 percent of Greeks agree with the charge against Golden Dawn that views the grouping as a criminal organisation, 22 percent disagree and another 10 percent are undecided. Equally, 66 percent of respondents believe the Neo-Nazi party is a threat to democracy but 26 percent don’t. Finally, 64 percent think it is right that state funding for Golden Dawn should be stopped but 24 percent say taxpayers’ money should continue to flow to the party.
While the decline in overall support for the party will serve as an encouragement to the government in particular, the fact that up to a quarter of voters still display some sympathy or understanding for Golden Dawn emphasises that the effort to eradicate the party’s influence is far from over. It also points to the possibility of a revival in the group’s fortunes if its prosecution fails to yield results as a significant part of the Greek population still sees Golden Dawn as a legitimate outlet for their frustration, perhaps choosing to ignore the party’s ideology and actions.
As for the other parties, the Alco poll underlines the benefits from the clampdown on Golden Dawn. New Democracy increased its support from 21.5 percent in late September to 22.8 percent in the first three days of October, when the poll was carried out. SYRIZA also saw its backing rise from 20.3 percent to 21.9 percent.
PASOK remains in fourth place behind Golden Dawn with 6.2 percent. Independent Greeks fell to 5 percent, the Communist Party (KKE) was steady at 4.7 percent and Democratic Left (DIMAR) was up slightly to 3.9 percent.