Italian Populists and Eurosceptics Hit Record High in Polls, Set to Win Next Election

Beppe Grillo

Italy’s insurgent, populist, Eurosceptic party is on track to win the next general election, polling at its highest ever reading.

An Ipsos survey, published Tuesday in the Corriere della Sera newspaper, put the 5-Star Movement on 32.3 per cent of the vote, five and a half points clear of the ruling Democratic Party (PD).

The poll of some 5,000 people also put the right wing populist Northern League party on 12.8 per cent, ahead of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia on 12.7 per cent.

An emerging split in the PD and divisions in the centre right have also aided the anti-establishment movements.

“Political parties that preoccupy themselves with their internal divisions are electorally doomed,” said the British-based think tank Eurointelligence in a note.

“We are now at the point where it becomes increasingly improbable for the PD to regain power after the next elections.”

The PD have dropped more than three percentage points in a month, as former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi attempts to reassert his authority following a walkout by a left wing faction, Reuters reports.

The breakaway faction, backed by former Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema, has created an entirely new party called the Democratic and Progressive Movement (MDP), which has the backing of 3.3 per cent of voters in the recent Ipsos poll.

The PD and MDP parties – along with a tiny centre right group polling at just 2.8 per cent – are the only openly pro-European Union (EU) parties in Italy.

Eurosceptics, therefore, could be in the driving seat after the next election. Despite this, the 5-Star Movement has said that they will not form a coalition with any other party, lessening the chances that they will form a government.

With general elections due this autumn or next year, the movement is said to be picking potential ministers from its MPs, with Luigi Di Maio, 30, tipped as their candidate for prime minister.


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