Support for Five Star Movement Declining as Salvini’s Popularity Surges

ROME, ITALY - JUNE 01: (L-R) Labor and Industry and Deputy PM Luigi Di Maio and Interior Minister and Deputy PM Matteo Salvini arrives to attend the first session of the council of ministers at Palazzo Chigi on June 1, 2018 in Rome, Italy. Law professor Giuseppe Conte has been …
Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images

The anti-establishment Five Star Movement is seeing a decline as the popularity of Matteo Salvini rises, with some worried the League (Lega) leader may look to replace them in government.

Five Star Movement (M5S) leader Luigi Di Maio is falling in popularity in Italy according to a new poll in which 32.8 percent of Italians view him positively compared to 49.1 percent who have a favourable view of Salvini, Il Giornale reports.

Since forming the populist coalition with Salvini’s Lega, the M5S have lost their top spot in national polls to where they now hover at around 26 percent, down six to seven percent from the height of their popularity, while Lega has shot up from their election result of 17 percent to as high as 32.1 percent in a recently released poll.

According to Alessandra Ghisleri of Euromedia research, the drop in support for Di Maio is due to waning support from voters in the north of the country who are worried about their spending programmes.

Some within the M5S are now concerned that Salvini may be looking to replace them with a more conservative party like the Brothers of Italy led by Giorgia Meloni.

M5S senator Elena Fattori believes Salvini is trying to fracture the Five Star Movement, saying: “I think that all the provocations of Salvini, first with the [migrant] ships and then with unacceptable decrees have the objective to break the Movement to get Brothers of Italy in the majority.”

Brothers of Italy deputy Guido Crosetto denied the allegations that his party or Ms Meloni were looking to break up the Five Star Movement, saying: “I do not think there was any request or discussion on the topic.”

While the Brothers of Italy have had some successes in recent local elections, their national polling numbers remain below five percent, far below what they would need to form a majority with Lega in the Italian parliament.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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