Italy’s far-right party of Giorgia Meloni holds big lead as election looms

Fratelli d'Italia rides high in opinion polls two weeks ahead of vote.

Italy’s right-wing alliance is poised to win a clear majority in both houses of parliament in the general election on 25 September, final opinion polls suggested on Friday.

Studies based on the polls, taken before a pre-election blackout kicked in on Saturday, show that the far-right Fratelli d'Italia (FdI) party of Giorgia Meloni is on track to be the largest single party.

The nationalist-conservative party of Meloni, who is tipped to become Italy's first female prime minister, has led opinion polls since elections were announced in late July following the resignation of outgoing premier Mario Draghi.

The FdI dominates the rightist bloc which comprises the right-wing Lega party, led by Matteo Salvini, and the centre-right Forza Italia (FI) of Silvio Berlusconi.

The polls show that the right holds on to its significant lead as the election race enters its final two weeks, putting it well ahead of the centre-left Partito Democratico (PD) of Enrico Letta.

Those polled by Quorum/Youtrend for SkyTG24 gave the FdI 25.3 per cent, with the Lega on 12.9 per cent and FI on 7.9 per cent, Italian news agency ANSA reports.

The poll placed the PD in second position with 21.2 per cent and the populist MoVimento 5 Stelle (M5S) led by Giuseppe Conte on 13.8 per cent, ahead of the Lega.

The survey puts the rightist bloc on a combined 47.2 per cent, almost 20 per cent in front of the centre-left coalition of the PD and small left-wing parties, paving the way for a landslide victory by the right.

The poll showed that support for the centrist alliance between Azione, led by Carlo Calenda, and Italia Viva, led by Matteo Renzi, was at 5.5 percent. This two-party alliance, like the M5S, is running independently.

Another poll, conducted by Ipsos and published in the Corriere della Sera newspaper, put FdI on 25.1 per cent, the PD on 20.5 per cent, M5S on 14.5 per cent, the Lega on 12.5 per cent and FI on 8 per cent.

A Termometro Politico poll gave FdI 25.2 per cent, the PD 22.2 per cent, the Lega and M5S 13.3 per cent, Forza Italia 7.2 per cent and Azione/Italia Viva 5.1 per cent, ANSA reports.

The Cattaneo Institute think tank published a study, based on recent polls, suggesting that the rightist bloc could elect at least 258 lawmakers out of 400 in the chamber of deputies, and 131 out of 200 in the senate, Reuters reports.

Although a resounding victory by the right appears all but guaranteed, a large percentage of voters remain undecided with just two weeks to go before elections.

Polls suggest that some 41 per cent of voters are either undecided or intend not to vote.

Photo credit: stedalle / Shutterstock.com.