The national conservative Brothers of Italy party (FdI), which is in opposition to the government of Italian prime minister Mario Draghi, have surged in support in a poll.
The party, which is the only member of Italy’s centre-right coalition of parties which has not participated in the current “technical government”, is less than a percentage point behind the left-wing Democrats (PD), which remains the second-largest party in the country.
According to a report from the newspaper Il Giornale, an Agi/Youtrend survey puts the party headed by firebrand Giorgia Meloni at 17.9 per cent, behind the PD, which scored 18.8 per cent. While populist Senator Matteo Salvini’s League continues to top the polls with 22.2 per cent.
The survey comes after months of polling showing the FdI vying to be the third-largest party in the country, with the Five-Star Movement (M5S) now sitting at 16.9 per cent.
The centre-right coalition of the League, the FdI, and former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia remains at almost half, 49 per cent, of the vote.
The polling rise for Meloni and her party comes just two years after the FdI gained just 6.46 per cent of the vote in the 2019 European Parliament elections while winning just 4.35 per cent in the last Italian national election in 2018.
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The new polling results come a month after Ms Meloni was found to be the most popular party leader in Italy, with 35 per cent of the vote, pushing fellow populist and League (Lega) leader Matteo Salvini into second place with 30 per cent.
Meloni, who now heads the European Conservatives and Reformers (ECR) group in the European Parliament, spoke out against violent leftist attacks on the populist Spanish party VOX earlier this month, and against leftist violence in general.
“The left is dramatically the same all over the world. You only have the right to speak if you think, say and support what they want,” Meloni said.
“The left, the white guard of the system, is well aware that our commitment and the battles we carry out are the greatest danger to their project. Those who defend identity, traditions, family, and homeland are an enemy to be slaughtered, at all costs,” she said.
In Italy, Meloni has been a fierce critic of the Draghi government. She had recently called for the resignation of Italy’s Health Minister Roberto Speranza and pushed for a vote of non-confidence against him, labelling him “incompetent and inadequate” in his management of the Wuhan virus pandemic.
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