ATHENS (Reuters) - Former Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras’s leftist Syriza party is running neck-and-neck with its main conservative rival, New Democracy, ahead of national elections on Sept. 20, according to three polls published on Friday.
Syriza’s poll lead has shriveled since Tsipras resigned in August and called the snap election in an attempt to shore up support for the country’s new bailout program.
A poll by University of Macedonia for Skai television showed that Syriza and New Democracy would each get 27 percent of the vote. A second survey by MRB for Star television put them both on 29.6 percent.
A third poll by Metron Analysis poll earlier on Friday was the second this week to show the conservative party in the lead.
Tsipras came to power in January promising to reverse years of austerity. But he resigned last month after a rebellion in his party, seeking a fresh mandate to implement the bailout he clinched after seven months of often acrimonious negotiations with Greece’s European and International Monetary Fund creditors.
Just a few weeks ago, a Syriza election victory had appeared almost certain as Greeks lauded the charismatic and youthful Tsipras for taking a hard-line stance with the creditors that he was eventually forced to give way on.
Undecided voters ranged between 10.5 and 15 percent in the three polls.
Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou, Writing by Deepa Babington; editing by Ruth Pitchford and John Stonestreet