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Greek election: Is Syriza sure of a victory?


A public opinion poll in Greece has put radical leftwing Syriza party slightly ahead of its closest rival, signalling that former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's gamble to hold a snap election to strengthen his premiership could pay off.

The poll, conducted by Pulse for website and published on Monday, showed that Tsipras is on course to win 27 percent of the vote in the vote to be held on September 20 while the opposition conservative New Democracy party, is projected to get 26.5 percent of the vote.

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Rightwing party Golden Dawn was third in the poll with 6.5 percent of the vote and Syriza's former coalition partner, Independent Greeks, had 2.5 percent -- less than the 3 percent threshold necessary to enter parliament.

Alexis Tsipras, former Greek prime minister.
Konstantinos Tsakalidis | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Tsipras resigned last month, triggering second Greek election this year, just eight months after he came to power in January. Syriza's tenure was first dogged by fraught negotiations with Greece's international lenders over reforms and then by a rebellion within his party after he agreed to far-reaching austerity measures in return for a desperately needed third bailout.

On Monday, Tsipras said he was seeking an absolute majority for his party but indicated that a coalition government would be formed quickly if no party won enough seats to govern alone.

Reflecting public pessimism regardless of the election's outcome, 61 percent of Syriza voters, and 67 percent of New Democracy supporters felt that the economic situation in Greece would be worse in 2016.

Uphill battle

With so much media attention focused on Greece over the summer in the run-up to the third deal struck with lenders, the snap election has also been an additional worry for the country's lenders and economists.

Otmar Issing, German economist and former European Central Bank (ECB) board member, told CNBC at the weekend that the outcome of the election "had become so uncertain."

"Tsipras has lost popularity and so it's just speculation what new government could be formed so I think this is the last thing that Greece should experience because they need a stable political environment to conduct immediate reforms."

Issing said that any new government needed to create stability for both the Greek public and investors, "otherwise, I'm afraid, the crisis will continue."

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Stephen King, senior economic adviser at HSBC, told CNBC on Monday that there was likely to be more political wranglings in the years ahead over the 86 billion euro bailout and the tough targets lenders have placed on the country.

"Greece has to drive down its labor costs, it has to make itself more competitive and do lots of restructuring and there will probably be more political opposition to that over the next two or three years," King told CNBC Europe's "Squawk Box".

"They've got this incredible commitment to delivering this primary surplus for a number of years and it's difficult to find examples in the world of countries that have done that year after year without having the benefit of some kind of exchange rate devaluation so Greece has a long way to go to get back to some sense of economic normality."

- By CNBC's Holly Ellyatt, follow her on Twitter @HollyEllyatt. Follow us on Twitter: @CNBCWorld