September 16, 2015 / 5:35 PM / 2 years ago

Two polls show conflicting results ahead of Greek election

ATHENS (Reuters) - Two Greek opinion polls published on Wednesday differed ahead of Sunday’s national election, with one giving leftists a four percentage point lead over conservatives and the other putting the conservatives marginally ahead.

Former Greece's prime minister and leftist Syriza party leader Alexis Tsipras (L) and New Democracy party leader Vangelis Meimarakis stand at their podiums before a televised debate in Athens, Greece, September 14, 2015. REUTERS/Michalis Karagiannis

The majority of surveys over the last two weeks have placed the two parties virtually neck and neck.

In a ProRata poll, collated on Tuesday for the left-leaning Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper, leftist Syriza received a 28.0 percent support rate, beating conservative New Democracy party on 24.0 percent.

A second poll by the University of Macedonia for Skai TV showed New Democracy was set to win 30 percent of the vote, while Syriza would get 29.5 percent.

It was only the fourth time in 22 polls this month that New Democracy has led Syriza, and the second since Sept. 4.

Both took full account of voter reactions to Monday’s final televised head-to-head debate between the parties’ leaders, ex-prime minister Alexis Tsipras of Syriza and Vangelis Meimarakis of New Democracy.

The previous ProRata poll on Sept. 11 gave Syriza a lead of 5 percentage points.

Wednesday’s surveys showed the far-right Golden Dawn ranking third followed by the Communist KKE party, the center-left PASOK party and the centrist To Potami, all at around 5 percent.

It put undecided voters at between 6 to 15 percent.

The ProRata poll showed 33 percent of respondents believed Tsipras was more convincing in the debate, against 26 percent for Meimarakis.

However, a Pulse poll for Action 24 TV, collated on Monday and Tuesday, put New Democracy ahead by 0.5 points.

Reporting by Renee Maltezou and Karolina Tagaris; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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