Greek poll predicts hung parliament
ATHENS, Greece—Greece's conservatives are in the lead ahead of a general election due early next year, according to an opinion poll published Friday, but it suggests they would not win outright.
The Public Issue tracking survey for the Kathimerini newspaper found popularity for the Socialists at just 15.5 percent, compared with 30 percent for the center-right New Democracy party -- presently the minority party in the Greek coalition government.
The two parties formed the coalition last month to push through a massive new financial rescue deal. They are due to go to an early election as soon as Feb. 19.
Public support for interim Prime Minister Lucas Papademos was estimated at 60 percent according to the poll of 1,008 people on Dec. 1-5, and which has a 3.5-percent margin of error.
Greece is heading for a fourth year of recession among high unemployment.
The country's statistical authority said Friday that the economy shrunk 5 percent on the year in the third quarter, compared to 7.4 percent on the year in the April-June period, according to non seasonally adjusted data. The authority did not specify the change on the quarter.
On the upside, Greece's external trade deficit shrunk 71.4 percent on the year in the third quarter of 2011.