Majority of Italians Believe Populist Deputy Prime Minister Salvini Most Powerful Voice in Government

Leader of the far-right League (Lega Nord) party, Matteo Salvini attends a meeting with the foreign press on March 14, 2018 in Rome. Anti-establishment party M5S leader on March 13 called on Italy's other political parties to listen to what he called a 'signal' from voters and help him break …

Populist League leader Matteo Salvini is seen as the most powerful politician within the government by a majority of Italians.

The survey, conducted by the EMG polling agency, shows 60 per cent of Italian voters believe that Salvini is the most powerful member of the government ahead of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who received 14 per cent in the survey.

Salvini is also ahead of his fellow Deputy Prime Minister and Five Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio who scored 13 per cent, Il Giornale reports.

While an expected majority of League voters, some 70 per cent, believe Salvini to be the most influential member of the government, only 39 per cent of Five Star Movement voters think Mr Di Maio to have the most sway, with 35 per cent giving the accolade to Salvini.

The survey comes as Di Maio and the Five Star Movement (M5S) have seen a decrease in support and a drop in almost every recent poll where the League has been in a constant first place in the polls.

Alessandra Ghisleri of Euromedia research has claimed that much of the decline for M5S, especially in the north of the country, has been due to anxieties over the party’s economic policies.

Some within the movement have even claimed that Salvini and the League are trying to fracture M5S with Senator Elena Fattori positing the idea that Salvini was attempting to open the door to a possible coalition with the conservative Brothers of Italy (FdI) in the future.

Salvini’s migrant policies, which have drastically cut the number of new arrivals, have been one catalyst in his rise in popularity. But according to the EMG survey, many Italians are also supportive of his combative rhetoric with the European Union, with 46 per cent supporting the hard-line while 45 per cent are against it.

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


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