Romania government headed for outright majority: poll

BUCHAREST Fri Nov 2, 2012 5:21am EDT

A woman casts her ballot at a voting station in Pantelimon, near Bucharest July 29, 2012 during a referendum on Romania's President Traian Basescu's impeachment. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel

A woman casts her ballot at a voting station in Pantelimon, near Bucharest July 29, 2012 during a referendum on Romania's President Traian Basescu's impeachment.

Credit: Reuters/Bogdan Cristel

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BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania's leftist government is firmly on course to win an outright majority in a December 9 parliamentary election with an opinion poll on Friday showing the first rise in support for the party since a political crisis earlier this year.

The survey by pollster IMAS showed 57.4 percent of Romanians would vote for Prime Minister Victor Ponta's Social Liberal Union (USL), only slightly down from the 60 percent it was polling before a failed attempt to impeach rightist President Traian Basescu in the summer.

The Alliance for the Romanian Right (ARD), a new grouping of center-right parties dominated by the opposition Democrat Liberals - deeply unpopular for enforcing past austerity measures - had support of 16 percent.

The populist party of media tycoon Dan Diaconescu - who advocates steep tax cuts - was third with 14.9 percent.

Analysts have said Basescu, who has strong ties with the ARD and as president gets to appoint the prime minister, may try to appoint an ally to form a coalition government if the USL fails to win an outright majority.

Uncertainty over future policy after the election is raising concerns among investors over how closely Romania will stick to reforms required under its 5 billion euro aid deal led by the International Monetary Fund.

The poll, done at the request of daily newspaper Adevarul, surveyed 1,039 people between October 10-18 and had a margin of error of 3 percent.

(Reporting by Luiza Ilie; editing by Patrick Graham)

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