Rome

Centre-left PD makes new gains, says poll

Centre-right PdL shows further decline

Centre-left PD makes new gains, says poll

Rome, December 7 - The centre-left Democratic Party (PD) stretched its lead as the centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) lost further ground amid fears that party manoeuvering could trigger a government crisis, according to a new opinion poll published Friday. The PD was polling 30.3%, up 0.3% over the same day last week, after party secretary Pier Luigi Bersani convincingly won a runoff in primaries on December 2 to choose the centre-left's candidate for the premiership in the next general elections, slated for early next year. The Five Star Movement (M5S) led by gadfly comedian Beppe Grillo, Italy's second-biggest party, gained 0.2% to stand at 19.7%. The PdL lost 0.5%, falling to its lowest-ever level at 13.8%, after Thursday's announcement that ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi would run for re-election and his party abstained from two confidence votes in the current technocrat government led by Mario Monti. The centrist UDC showed further improvement, rising by 1.1% to stand at 5.2%, while the Left Ecology Freedom (SEL) party of southern Puglia governor Nichi Vendola - considered the PD's principal ally – lost 0.4% to stand at 5.6%. Italy of Values (IDV), led by former anti-graft prosecutor Antonio di Pietro, rose by 0.2% to 2.6%.

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