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23 June, 2024
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Kathimerini poll: Christodoulides unaffected by electoral pressure

Despite a two-point drop in his ratings, Neophytou and Mavroyiannis fail to achieve a noticeable rise

by Michalis Vryonides

The countdown to the presidential elections has begun, and the Symmetron poll for Kathimerini reveals the critical issues that define the political environment. Recently, the election campaign has taken on a more aggressive tone, with political and personal attacks aimed at rallying voters and strengthening party patriotism. However, the efforts were ineffective because they failed to pique the interest of the majority of citizens who remained loyal to their original choice. Despite a two-point drop from July, Nicos Christodoulides leads the unopposed candidates by a significant margin and is the election favorite. His electoral influence exceeds the percentages of the parties that support him, as he garners support from all political parties.


Mr. Neofytou's and Mr. Mavroyiannis' electoral influence has grown, but at a glacial pace, as the countdown to the elections approaches. Both candidates are aiming for second place based on current data and without ruling out any changes in the coming months. Their electoral influence is far less than the strength of the parties that support them, and their contributions from other areas range from modest to insignificant. The difference between them is narrow, and any predictions about the final ranking are risky.

The political climate

The outlook for the country is highly negative and pessimistic. The dissatisfaction index has risen to 84%, with only 16% of citizens claiming to be satisfied, primarily DISY voters. At 89%, young people aged 18 to 34 are noticeably more critical and pessimistic. When the younger generation takes on this grim picture of the country's course, the future looks bleak.

At 69%, the country's economic situation and its impact on citizens' quality of life is the overarching issue that dominates discussions and concerns. Scandals and corruption account for 36% of the total, up from 31% in July. The Cyprus problem is now in third place, up six points, with 31% of citizens concerned about migration. All of these issues, particularly the worsening of living standards, play an important role in the developments that will shape the next president's selection.


The rate of participation in the electoral process demonstrates citizens' disconnection from political life. The abstention rate is polling at 25%, and we estimate it will be between 27% and 32% based on historical data.

Voter confidence is at 62%, down from 70% during the same period in 2018. A sizable 36% of voters have not made up their minds about a candidate. All three main contenders have roughly the same level of voting certainty: 73% for Mavroyiannis, 71% for Neofytou, and 70% for Christodoulides.


The poll's most disappointing finding for candidates and the entire political landscape is the candidate selection process. Citizens are not enthusiastic about the options available to them, but the majority, 59%, choose the "best of the worst" candidate, which is interpreted as a choice of necessity.


The recent media reports about Nikos Christodoulides' private conversations and their publication in the media do not appear to have significantly influenced the electorate's views, but rather the opposite. 59% of all citizens said they had seen the publications. The publication hurt Christodoulides' image by 36%. In comparison, 44% said it improved his image, while 18% were completely indifferent.

Candidate popularity

Christodoulides continues to be the most popular candidate. He is the only candidate who has a high popularity rating. Christodoulides is viewed positively by 53% of respondents, while 33% are negative. Negative opinions outnumber positive ones among the other candidates. Neofytou's popularity is at 26%, while Mavroyiannis' is at 33%, up six points from the previous Symmetron poll. Popularity and sympathy for a candidate are important indicators of success on the journey to the presidency. Demetriades and Christofides stand out from the other candidates, with popularity ratings of 25% and 21%, respectively, far exceeding their electoral influence.

The first round

The showdown between the contenders for the second most sought-after position is the focus of attention in the first round, with Christodoulides securing a clear 15-point lead over the second candidate. Christodoulides' electoral influence is 32.3%, which is two points lower than in July. The Christodoulides candidacy appears to be withstanding the rival staff's stifling communication and organizational pressures, with manageable losses for the time being. He receives 64% of DIKO votes, 34% of DISY votes, and a sizable 18% of AKEL votes. Furthermore, he receives 55% from EDEK and DIPA, 30% from the Ecologists, 24% from ELAM, 26% from non-parliamentary parties, and 24% from independent voters.


It is clear that Christodoulides' candidacy is not only diverse but also well-rounded, with significant contributions from all parties. This horizontal bifurcation causes significant fractures in the unopposed candidates and propels him to a commanding lead. He has support from across the ideological spectrum and appears to be benefiting from the public's disillusionment and disengagement with party leaders.

Given the narrow margin between the two contenders, second-place estimates are speculative. Neofytou leads Mavroyiannis by a slim margin of 17% to 15.3%. The turnout in DISY is around 45%, but Neofytou's biggest problem is not only his performance in DISY, which may improve during the campaign but also the lack of input from other parties.

The turnout for AKEL is 64%, which is quite satisfactory for this time period. The Mavroyiannis campaign faces the same issue as the Neofytou campaign. It is almost entirely dependent on AKEL, with only minor contributions from other parties, and it appears that the staff has yet to find a channel of communication with the center-left.

The electoral influence of Christodoulides is 35.8% on official ballot papers, 18.9% for Neofytou, 16.9% for Mavroyiannis, 4.2% for Demetriades, 2.8% for Christou, 1.9% for Kolokasidis, and 1.8% for Christofides.


Scenarios for the second round

According to current developments, Christodoulides will be elected in the second round with a commanding margin over both main contenders. In both scenarios, his electoral influence is 50% against Neofytou's 22% and 53% against Mavroyiannis' 24%. We have the ultimate race with a tie between the two candidates in the Mavroyiannis-Neofytou scenario.

The recent parliamentary elections demonstrated the fervent opposition of a large number of voters to party leaders. Some relocated, others joined non-parliamentary parties, and many ended up withdrawing completely. Currently, 40% of voters are unhappy with the party leaders they supported in the 2021 parliamentary elections. Most voters are becoming apathetic to party affiliations and are instead following their personal desires. Nikos Christodoulides is their choice four months before the elections.

*Michalis Vryonidis is the managing director of Symmetron Market Research

Assignment: Kathimerini Kyprimerini Politiki & Economiki Gazeta LtD; Office: Symmetron Market Research, ESOMAR member. Conduct Date: 29/9 - 6/10/2022 Coverage: All Cypriots in urban and rural areas across the country, men and women 18 and older with the right to vote. Sample size: 800 people. Sample method: stratified random sampling. Data collection: Telephone interviews with a structured questionnaire. Standard Margin of Error: 95% confidence level, margin of error +/- 3.5.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  elections  |  campaign

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