Italexit threat: Italy ‘dominated’ by Eurosceptics as populist right takes hold in poll

Brexit: France or Italy will leave next says Charles-Henri Gallois

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Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party obtained just 4.35 percent of the vote in the nation’s 2018 general election. But the most recent opinion poll suggests the surge in support for the Eurosceptic populist party has continued.

Pollsters at SWG asked 1,200 Italian electors how they would vote in a hypothetical general election.

Just over one-in-five – 20.6 percent – of respondents said they would vote for the Brothers of Italy.

The poll, conducted between July 28 and August 2, indicates the Eurosceptic Lega party would finish in second – narrowly behind on 20.3 percent of the vote.

While this is a slight increase on the 17.7 percent Matteo Salvini won in the 2018 general election, Lega has taken a backwards step since Salvini, then deputy Prime Minister, pulled the plug on Guiseppe Conte’s Government.

Despite the dip in support for Lega, if an election was called today the two Eurosceptic outfits would emerge as the two largest parties.

The combined vote for the anti-EU parties currently sits at 40.9 percent.

Salvini and Meloni

The combined vote for the anti-EU parties currently sits at 40.9 percent. (Image: Getty)

Guiseppe Conte

Lega has taken a backwards step since Salvini pulled the plug on Guiseppe Conte’s Government. (Image: Getty)

This opinion poll appears to confirm the assertion made by Michael Heaver, former Brexit Party MEP, that Eurosceptics on the continent are starting to take control of their nation’s politics.

Mr Heaver, 31, told his 63,000 YouTube subscribers: “Italian politics is increasingly dominated by Eurosceptic parties.”

The Brussels-bashing ex-East of England MEP claimed that, while neither the Brothers of Italy or Lega are proponents of ‘Italexit’, they will challenge the EU for “stripping nations of the right to exercise their legitimate sovereign powers”.

Such news will cause concern for both bureaucrats in Brussels and supporters of the continental bloc.

Last month, 16 European right-wing populist parties, including Lega and Brothers of Italy, joined forces to rally against the EU.

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Brexit Party Bus

Mr Heaver, 31, said: “Italian politics is increasingly dominated by Eurosceptic parties.” (Image: Getty)

“The EU is becoming more and more a tool of radical forces that would like to carry out a cultural, religious transformation and ultimately a nationless construction of Europe, aiming to create… a European Superstate,” they declared.

In the last election, Lega and Fratelli d’Italia were joined by members from the centre-right Forza Italia group.

For some time, under the stewardship of scandal-hit Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Forza Italia led the nation’s centre-right in Parliament.

But now polls suggest they will not even reach double-digit levels of support.

SWG has them on just 6.8 percent.

In 2018, the largest party in both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies was the Five Star Movement.

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Silvio Berlusconi

Forza Italia were previously led by scandal-hit PM Silvio Berlusconi (Image: Getty)

However, the insurgent party, which was set up by Italian comedian Beppe Brillo in 2009, has suffered an almighty slump since entering power in Rome.

Current polls, including this one by SWG, suggest the Five Star Movement has lost more than half of its vote share since the last national election.

Instead, Five Star are forecast to receive just 15.5 percent of the vote.

And it is also a torrid time for the Italian left.

Following their creation in 2007, Partito Democratico had competed against Forza Italia in most electoral bouts.

Support for the centre-left party collapsed to just 18.9 percent in 2018 and has barely moved since.

The recent SWG opinion poll indicates 19 percent of Italians would back Enrico Letta to become Prime Minister.

The next general election in Italy is scheduled to be held no later than June 2023.

William Murphy

William Murphy

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