Greek poll shows anti-bailout leftists leading

ATHENS Thu May 10, 2012 2:24pm EDT

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ATHENS (Reuters) - The leftist anti-bailout SYRIZA party has gained support since an inconclusive election on Sunday to become Greece's most popular party, the first opinion poll to be published after the vote showed on Thursday.

Backing for SYRIZA stood at 23.8 percent of respondents, with the pro-bailout conservative New Democracy trailing at 17.4 percent, according to the survey conducted on May 8-9 by polling firm Marc for the Alpha television station.

The May 6 election left pro- and anti-bailout parties almost evenly divided and deadlocked over how to form a government.

Stripping out undecided voters to make the poll's figures comparable with actual election results, SYRIZA would win a repeat vote with 27.7 percent, the polls said, up from the 16.8 percent the party scored in Sunday's election.

New Democracy would slip to second place with 20.3 percent of the vote compared with the 18.9 percent it won on May 6. The pro-bailout Socialist PASOK remains in third place with 12.6 percent.

Almost two in three voters wanted party leaders to form a coalition government, according to the Marc/Alpha survey.

(Reporting by Harry Papachristou and Renee Maltezou; Writing by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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