BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania’s leftist Prime Minister Victor Ponta will likely win a Nov. 16 presidential election run-off vote by a wide margin, an opinion poll showed, a victory that would consolidate his Social Democrats’ hold on power.
A former prosecutor and amateur rally driver, Ponta won 40.4 percent of the vote in the first round on Nov. 2, 10 points ahead of his nearest rival, Klaus Iohannis, an ethnic German mayor.
Conducted by pollster CSCI, the survey showed Ponta will get 55 percent of votes against Iohannis’ 45 percent, daily Evenimentul Zilei said on Friday. The poll surveyed 925 people on Nov. 2 and has a margin of error of 3.3 percent.
Earlier this week, senior Social Democrat and deputy prime minister Liviu Dragnea said two private surveys commissioned by the ruling party showed Ponta winning 53-54 percent of votes.
A Ponta presidency could bring more stability to the European Union’s second-poorest state, but it has also raised concerns about the independence of the judiciary and prosecutors. As president, Ponta might also cut loose from an IMF aid deal that has shored up the country’s credibility with investors since 2009.
Reporting by Luiza Ilie