By John Hadoulis
Greece's snap election next weekend will be a cliffhanger, with latest opinion polls on Sunday (local time) giving the radical left Syriza party only a razor-thin lead over its conservative rivals.
Greeks are voting for the fifth time in six years as former prime minister Alexis Tsipras seeks a fresh mandate to push through tough reforms pledged under a new 86-billion-euro international bailout.
But Sunday's election is likely to deliver a hung parliament and more unpopular eurozone-imposed austerity for crisis-weary Greeks, no matter who ends up in charge.
Opinion polls published a week ahead of the vote showed Tsipras' Syriza almost neck and neck with the main opposition conservative New Democracy party.
Syriza was set to win 25.9 percent of the vote against 25.5 percent for New Democracy, according to an MRB poll for the Real News newspaper, figures largely reflected in other surveys.
Another poll by Public Issue for Avghi - a pro-Syriza newspaper - predicted a tie with both parties at 31 percent.
It said 40 percent of respondents thought Tsipras was the best person to lead Greece against 37 percent who chose Evangelos Meimarakis, New Democracy's tough-talking leader.
Neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, which is hoping to capitalise on Europe's burgeoning refugee crisis, remained the third party with support ranging from 6.4 to seven percent.
With neither Syriza nor New Democracy expected to win an outright majority, at least three other smaller parties - centrist To Potami, the Pasok socialists and the nationalist Independent Greeks - could find themselves in government.
The 41-year-old Tsipras, battling an internal revolt over the country's third massive bailout since 2010, quit his post in August, triggering an early election.