Italy: Salvini Support on Par with Leftist Coalition Govt Parties Combined

Lega far right party leader Matteo Salvini (C) smiles and rises his fist at the Lega headquarter in Milan on March 5, 2018 for a press conference ahead of the Italy's general election results. A surge for populist and far-right parties in Italy's weekend election could result in a hung …

Populist Italian senator Matteo Salvini’s League (Lega) is now polling as high as both of the parties in the leftist Italian coalition government combined.

The SWG survey shows Salvini and the League with 34.1 per cent of the vote while the government parties of the Five Star Movement (M5S) and the left-establishment Democratic Party (PD) have fallen to 16.8 and 17.5 per cent respectively, newspaper Il Giornale reports.

While the result for Salvini’s party is approaching their record vote received earlier this year in the European Parliament elections, the coalition parties have both declined for different reasons.

For the Democratic Party, part of the decline is likely due to the emergence of the Italia Viva party led by the former prime minister and former PD leader Matteo Renzi, which sits at around six per cent.

The Five Stars, meanwhile, have seen conflict over the new government budget as well as the move to ally with the PD in the last regional election in the traditionally leftist stronghold of Umbria, where they, along with the PD, floundered, while Salvini’s centre-right candidate won in a landslide.

The centre-right alliance of the League, the national-conservative Brothers of Italy (FdI), and former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia would score a comfortable majority, according to the SWG poll, as Giorgia Meloni’s FdI has increased its support to around nine per cent.

Meloni, like Salvini, has criticised the unpopular coalition government since its inception. He said at a rally in Rome in September: “They know they are doing something the Italians don’t want and because they know they can’t win a free competition in the elections, they steal it. They are thieves of democracy, thieves of sovereignty, thieves.”

Salvini, meanwhile, has topped polls personally as well. He has become the most trusted political leader in the country according to a survey released in September, which gave him a 40 per cent trust rating, and topped another poll in October.

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


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