BUCHAREST Romania's leftist government is likely to win an outright majority in parliament in an election later on Sunday, an opinion poll showed on Tuesday.
The survey showed 57 percent of Romanians would vote for Prime Minister Victor Ponta's Social Liberal Union (USL). Previous polls have put USL support between 48 and around 60 percent.
If the USL fails to win a majority, analysts say center-right President Traian Basescu, who appoints the prime minister, could refuse to nominate his rival Ponta again and may try to put forward one of his allies to form a coalition, prolonging uncertainty over the next government.
Such political turmoil could reignite uncertainty over policymaking and about Romania's negotiations for a new International Monetary Fund deal authorities plan to seal after the current 5 billion euro agreement expires.
The USL failed to impeach Basescu earlier this year in a bitter political battle that raised concerns over the rule of law in the European Union's second-poorest member state.
The Right Romania Alliance (ARD), a new grouping of center-right parties dominated by the opposition Democrat Liberals - allies of Basescu who are unpopular for past austerity measures - have 17 percent support, the poll showed. The previous poll a month ago showed ARD on 24 percent.
The populist party of media tycoon Dan Diaconescu, who advocates steep tax cuts, is third with 15 percent, according to the survey pollsters Avangarde and CURS.
The poll, commissioned by the public television broadcaster TVR, surveyed 4,957 people between November 27-December 2 and had a margin of error of 1.4 percent.
USL - the ruling alliance of Social Democrats and Liberals
PDL - the opposition Democrat-Liberal party
ARD - new center-right opposition alliance dominated by PDL
PPDD - Populist People's Party of media tycoon Dan Diaconescu
UDMR - Ethnic Hungarian party, junior ruling coalition member
(Reporting by Ioana Patran; Editing by Pravin Char)