Risk of Italian Government Collapse Should Salvini Win Weekend Regional Election

Leader of Italy's far-right League (Lega) party, Matteo Salvini (C) gestures on stage next to centre-right Senator and regional candidate Lucia Borgonzoni (L) during a campaign rally on January 18, 2020 in Maranello, a week ahead of Emilia-Romagna regional vote. - The Emilia-Romagna regional election of 2020 will take place …
ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images

The Italian leftist coalition government could be on the brink of collapse as populist Matteo Salvini’s centre-right coalition looks to topple the left in this weekend’s regional election in Emilia-Romagna.

The latest polls show Salvini’s Centre-Right coalition candidate Lucia Borgonzoni neck and neck with leftist Democratic Party (PD) Stefano Bonaccini as some are predicting that a win for Salvini could see a major crisis emerge, newspaper Il Giornale reports.

The paper claims that several Senators belonging to the Five Star Movement, the coalition partner of the PD in the government, have already “knocked on Salvini’s doors.”

The PD itself could pull the plug on the government if they lose their long-time leftist stronghold of Emila-Romagna as well, with some potentially viewing the partnership with the Five Star movement as having cost them valuable voter support.

The Five Star Movement has seen a drastic decline in support since the last national election in 2018 where the movement was the single largest in the country.

Repeated election failures have led to the recent resignation of leader Luigi Di Maio earlier this week. Di Maio came close to being removed following last year’s European Parliament election result but was saved by a vote among the members of the movement.

Despite leaving the government and his post as Interior Minister last year, Matteo Salvini and his League have remained in first place in national polls for months and a new poll from the Index Research survey suggests the League’s support is growing.

The centre-right coalition of the League, the national-conservative Brothers of Italy (FdI) and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (FI) are also polling incredibly strong with an estimated 49.2 per cent of the vote which would give the three parties a majority if a new election were held today.

Salvini’s polling numbers could be given another boost, according to Italian pollster Alessandra Ghisleri who said that the government vote to put him on trial for refusing to allow illegal migrants to land in Italy last year could be used as part of Salvini’s campaign strategy.

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

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