Italian Left in ‘Freefall’, While National Conservatives Reach 20 Per Cent for First Time

Leader of Italy's conservative party Brothers of Italy, Giorgia Meloni (R) taps hand
TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images

Italian leftist parties are in “freefall”, with a poll revealing that the national-conservative Brothers of Italy (FdI) led by Giorgia Meloni reaches 20 per cent for the first time.

The SWG poll released earlier this week shows gains for both Matteo Salvini’s populist League (21.7 per cent) and Meloni’s FdI (20 per cent), which are now the largest parties in the country. Together with former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (6.3 per cent), the right has 48 per cent of popular support, inching closer towards half of all voters in Italy.

Meanwhile, the left-wing Democratic Party (PD) continues to see a drop in support — receiving 19 per cent, a fall of half a per cent since an SWG poll released earlier in May — with newspaper Il Giornale describing left-wing parties as being in “freefall”.

The biggest loss in support was seen among the Five-Star Movement (M5S). Once the largest single party in the country, following the last national election in 2018, the M5S now accounts for just 15.8 per cent, a drop of 0.7 per cent from the last SWG poll.

Since 2018, Giorgia Meloni’s FdI has seen a dramatic rise in popularity. Scoring just over four per cent in the 2018 election, the party now accounts for one-fifth of the voting intentions in the country.

2021 has been an especially good year for the Brothers of Italy in the polls. Its position continues to improve since Meloni chose to keep her party out of the grand coalition government under former European Central Bank president and current Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

As early as March, a poll by the research group Istituto Ixè revealed that Meloni had become the most popular party leader in the country, a full five per cent more popular than League leader Salvini.

Maria Elena Boschi, a former Italian minister now with the single-digit polling Italia Viva party led by former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, claimed that Meloni’s popularity would likely decrease before an actual election.

“The consensus for Meloni will deflate,” Boschi said and added: “This strong growth of the Brothers of Italy derives from the fact that they are the only opposition party.”

While Reuters has predicted that Meloni could overtake Salvini and the League, destabilising the grand coalition under Prime Minister Draghi.

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


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