By Gavin Jones and Angelo Amante
ROMESep 23 – Italy’s right-wing bloc led by Giorgia Meloni is expected to win Sunday’s election, but voter sentiment has changed in the past two weeks and surprises are not to be ruled out, pollsters say.
Since the publication of opinion polls was banned two weeks ago, the left-leaning, non-aligned 5 Star Movement appears to have made significant gains, while the right-wing Liga has reportedly lost steam, according to seven pollsters interviewed by Reuters.
Matteo Salvini’s League is the main ally of Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party, which has probably cemented its position as the most popular force ahead of Enrico Letta’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD), pollsters said.
As for the overall result, the majority said that the probability of the right winning the majority in both houses of parliament and forming the next government has decreased somewhat due to the rise of the 5 Star, but it is still by far the most probable.
“Nothing should be ruled out,” said Renato Mannheimer, director of the Eumetra polling agency. “I would put the probability of a right-wing majority at 60-65%, which is down from 80% three weeks ago.”
All other pollsters saw less chance of a capsize. His estimates of the probability of a conservative victory ranged between 70% and 100% predicted by Federico Benini, director of the Winpoll agency.
At the time of the September 10 polling blackout, most polls put Italy’s Brothers at around 24% and the combined conservative bloc—which also includes former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Liga and Forza Italia—at around 46%.
Pollsters consider his victory assured due to divisions on the left, in particular the breakdown, shortly before the campaign began, of an alliance between the PD and former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s 5-Star Movement.
This scenario of victory for the right is maintained, according to the pollsters, despite the signs of progress for the 5-Star, which until a few months ago was in deep crisis, but is now expected to jump to the League as the third most popular party. .
Conte has moved the 5 Stars to the left and seems to be reaping the fruits of a campaign focused on the energetic defense of his emblematic plan to help poverty, the “citizen income”, whose beneficiaries are concentrated in southern Italy.
“Conte has done a very good campaign and has barely put a foot wrong,” said Fabrizio Masia, director of the agency. EMG Different.
However, most pollsters agree that the split between the 5 Stars and the PD will ruin the chances of both parties in the third of parliamentary seats allocated by the simple majority system. It is considered that these are going to go almost entirely to the right together.
The rest of the seats are assigned by proportional representation.
“Even the growth of the 5 Stars, unless it is a phenomenal growth, seems insufficient to prevent the center-right from winning,” said Lorenzo Pregliasco, director of the YouTrend agency.
According to Masia, the Conservatives could only be stopped by a “surge” of the 5 Stars, coupled with a jump in support for the centrist “Action” party to around 10%, stealing votes from the right. Before the polls were suspended, Acción was around 6.5%.