Rome, April 5 – Support for Florence mayor Matteo Renzi of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) continues to grow, according to an opinion poll published Friday. The upstart local administrator who lost to PD Secretary Pier Luigi Bersani in primaries to choose the centre-left candidate for the premiership ahead of February general elections was polling 56%, up 1% over the week before, pollster SWG said. He was followed by Genoa comedian Beppe Grillo, leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) with 30% and then by Bersani at 29%. Centre-right leader and ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi stood at 27%, up 1% over last week. Incumbent technocrat Premier Mario Monti, leader of the small centrist and reformist Civic Choice platform, registered a popularity of 23%, up 4% over last week. Renzi, 38, is seen by many as representing a possible way out of the political impasse resulting from inconclusive elections and a hung parliament at the helm of a broad coalition government.
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di Sebastiano Caspanello