Anti-EU coalition led by Matteo Salvini set to takeover in Italy – new polling

The survey suggests the League party chief could lead a right-wing coalition to replace Mario Draghi’s technocratic government after the next election. It places Mr Salvini’s movement in top spot, with 24 percent, closely followed by Brothers of Italy on 18 percent. Since the 2018 election, the nationalist Brothers of Italy, led by Giorgia Meloni, have risen to prominence to become the third-largest party in terms of support.

Ms Meloni is a rising star of the country’s eurosceptic and is president of the pan-EU European Conservative and Reformists Party.

Her MEPs sit in the same party, which was once home to the British Conservative party, in the European Parliament.

Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi would likely join the partnership, with his Forza Italia group at 6.5 percent.

Support for pro-European parties has slumped as a result of the bloc’s shambolic vaccine rollout and handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The centre-ground Democrats has dropped to 19 percent and the Five Star Movement are stuck at 17 percent – a capitulation from 32 percent in 2018.

Brothers of Italy are confident that Mr Salvini, Ms Meloni and Mr Berlusconi can form a “coalition of champions” at the next election.

A party official told the EU Observer website: “In barely two months we gained nearly three percent, replacing the Five Star Movement as Italy’s third-largest party. We have the potential to go well beyond 25 percent. Our move to stay at the opposition and not become part of Draghi’s cabinet of national unity has proven to be winning.

“What was meant to be the ‘coalition of the champions’ and the moment of ‘great rebirth’ for Italy has ended up being a downward compromise between diverse parties. They’ve all sold their souls, and they’re paying for this”, the official concluded.

“Each day we constructively fight the government’s crazy proposals, such as absurd ways to boost digital payments, and denounce the delay in direct pandemic aid from the European Commission which was supposed to be a total of over €200 billion for Italy, but will hardly be €180 billion at the end of the day.”

Mr Draghi was brought in to lead a technocratic government to help ramp up Italy’s rollout of life-saving Covid jabs.

Voters have fled League and Five Star, who support the former European Central Bank president’s premiership, to Brothers of Italy.

Ms Meloni has accused Mr Draghi of dragging his heels over publishing plans to spend Italy’s chunk of the EU’s €750 billion recovery fund.

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They believe the deep divisions League and Five Star have only been “temporarily sedated” to make it a functioning coalition.

And Ms Meloni’s party is waiting to cash in on the first rows over plans to ramp up vaccinations and spending of the Brussels recovery fund.

Political analyst Andrea Ungari, a professor of political party history at Rome’s LUISS University, has predicted the right-wing coalition to secure a majority.

League, Brothers of Italy and Forza Italia would likely win 51 percent of the votes as part of a joint effort, according to the latest polling.

Mr Savlini and Ms Meloni would position themselves as the main protagonists within the government because Mr Berlusconi is lagging behind in the polls.

Professor Ungari said: “The Democrat party and the Five Star Movement have committed political suicide, with the Democrats on their last chance of survival as they desperately seek a way forward.

“Both groups have lost their sense of direction. That further strengthens the centre-right parties that maintain their identity and clear programmes.”

He added: “One day Silvio Berlusoni will be out of the picture, and that’s when the real battle for the mainstream-right hegemony will begin. Salvini looks to replace Berlusconi as Forward Italy’s guiding star and lure his electorate.”

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