Poll shows rampant voter disaffection in Italy

Centre right climbing in popularity

Poll shows rampant voter disaffection in Italy

Rome, April 23 - The ranks of disaffected Italian voters are growing, with fully 50% of those surveyed not expressing support for any current political party or movement, according to a poll Tuesday. The ranks of those checking off "undecided" and "no vote" put together were up 10% over the last poll, released April 17, and nearly double the 27% no-show at February's general elections, a survey conducted by Tecne' for the news channel Sky Tg24 revealed. April 17 marked the day before MPs began wrestling over the election of the country's new head of state - a divisive four-day political showdown that saw the resignation of the leader of the centre-left, protests by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), and the unexpected re-election of the 87-year-old incumbent, Giorgio Napolitano. The survey showed the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and the M5S losing ground, while Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom Party (PdL) gained popularity. The PdL led with roughly 30% support, up about 2.5% over the last survey. Together with coalition allies, the centre-right holds 38-39%, the survey said. Meanwhile, the PD stands at about 24%, a loss of more than 2% since the previous week. The centre-left coalition support stood at 29.6% for the House and 59.6% in the Senate. Support for M5S sank 3% to roughly 20%. M5S won about a quarter of the vote in February's parliamentary elections. Nevertheless, M5S leader Beppe Grillo tweeted triumph on Tuesday citing a different poll. "M5S absolutely 1st place," Grillo posted on Twitter, referring to a survey that showed M5S gaining 5.2% to reach current voter support of 29.1%. Grillo cited a poll conducted by EMG and broadcast by television channel La7 and others.

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