Nicos Christodoulides looks set to wipe the floor with his rivals in the 2023 presidential race, the latest poll published by state broadcaster CyBC has shown.
The survey, conducted on behalf of CyBC by pollsters Cypronetwork from October 4 to 14, used a sample of 1,224 respondents aged 18 and over.
Irrespective of the questions, Christodoulides consistently topped the charts. He was the most popular candidate at 55 per cent, with Akel’s Andreas Mavroyiannis and Disy’s Averof Neophytou trailing at 37 per cent and 35 per cent, respectively.
At the same time, views on Christodoulides were the most polarised, with just 16 per cent of respondents saying they had no opinion either way about the former foreign minister who went ‘rogue’ on his party Disy by running as an ‘independent’.
Asked who they’d vote for in the first round of elections, 30.5 per cent picked Christodoulides, 19 per cent Neophytou, 17 per cent Mavroyiannis, and 3 per cent Achilleas Demetriades.
Gauging the intention of respondents by party affiliation, the results revealed some troubling numbers for Neophytou, with just under half of Disy supporters saying they’d vote for him; meanwhile 30.5 per cent would go for Christodoulides.
Among Akel supporters, 74 per cent said they will vote for Mavroyiannis, 14 per cent for Christodoulides. And among Diko voters, 61 per cent will vote for Christodoulides, 10 per cent for Neophytou, and 5 per cent for Mavroyiannis.
In response to the question which candidate is likeliest to make it to the runoff, 71 per cent said Christodoulides, 59 per cent Neophytou, 26 per cent Mavroyiannis.
On voting intentions for the second round, in the Christodoulides versus Neophytou scenario, 45.5 per cent would cast a ballot for Christodoulides, and only 23 per cent for Neophytou. In addition, 8.5 per cent were undecided, and 14.5 per cent would abstain.
In the Mavroyiannis versus Christodoulides runoff scenario, 21.5 per cent would pick the Akel-backed candidate, and 48 per cent would vote for Christodoulides.
A second-round matchup between Neophytou and Mavroyiannis would end up in a dead heat – 32.5 per cent to 32 per cent.
Regardless of personal preference, respondents were asked who they think will be president come February. Here again, Christodoulides came out on top at 49 per cent, ahead by a wide margin. Just 23 per cent thought Neophytou might win, and a mere 9 per cent gave Mavroyiannis a chance.
Also, 84 per cent of those polled said they would certainly/likely vote, and 12 per cent would certainly/likely abstain.
Asked to rate the parties’ choice in nominating/backing the various candidates, 44 per cent thought that Disy made the right to call with Neophytou, 38 per cent said Akel correctly went with Mavroyiannis, and 62 per cent said Diko made the right move to go with Christodoulides.
The candidates’ personality was cited as the top criterion for voting for president (57 per cent), with only 9 per cent saying they were influenced by which parties were backing whom.
Other than the upcoming elections, the survey also gauged people’s thoughts on the state of the economy. Just 13 per cent felt the country was going in the “right direction,” 62 per cent in the “wrong direction.”
Asked which problem facing the country is the most important, 26 per cent of respondents cited the rise in the cost of living; 18 per cent corruption; 15 per “the economy”; 8 per cent the Cyprus problem and Turkey; 8 per cent migration; 1 per cent the war in Ukraine; and zero per cent on climate change.
On whether life has become better or worse in the past five years, 63 per cent said worse, 10 per cent said better, and 26 per cent thought neither.
On Ukraine, 54 per cent agreed with the stance of the Cyprus government in condemning the Russian invasion, while 41 per cent disagreed. However, only 36 per cent thought that Cyprus should participate in EU sanctions on Russia, while the majority (58 per cent) said the island should not participate.
Regarding tensions with Turkey, 54 per cent of respondents think a military incident is possible, while 29 per cent rule it out. Among those thinking a military incident/confrontation with Turkey is possible, 44 per cent said such an incident would most likely occur in the Aegean, and 10 per cent said in Cyprus.