Italian Voters Shift to the Right as Political Impasse Drags On

(Bloomberg) -- Italian political preferences are becoming more right wing as a political impasse in the country drags on two months after a general election, according to a poll published in La Repubblica.

Support for Matteo Salvini’s League was close to 22 percent compared to 17.4 percent at the March 4 election, according to the survey, which was conducted by Demos & Pi on April 26 and 27. The Five Star Movement is the most popular party with about 33 percent of backing, and the Democratic Party is third with 17.8 percent, down from 18.7, the poll showed.

Italian Voters Shift to the Right as Political Impasse Drags On

Italy’s March 4 general vote left the legislature divided between three main blocs -- Five Star, the center-right coalition and the democrats -- without any holding sufficient seats to form a government. Interviews with party leaders published in the country’s main newspapers on Sunday indicated that the deadlock is getting no closer to a resolution.

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Luigi Di Maio, Five Star’s premier candidate, is trying to negotiate a German-style coalition with leaders of the left-wing democrats, he wrote in an article published by newspaper Corriere della Sera. Italian President Sergio Mattarella has been encouraging dialog between the two parties after Five Star and the center-right failed to reach a deal.

"I am hopeful because on paper there are several points of convergence" between the political programs of the two parties, Di Maio wrote.

The democrats, previously against any form of compromise with Five Star, have convened a national leadership meeting on May 3 to discuss whether a negotiation could start. While acting leader Maurizio Martina said progress has been made, former party leader Matteo Renzi is said to be firmly against an alliance.

"Never" with Di Maio, newspaper La Repubblica quoted Renzi as saying.

If no deal is reached, new elections are the most likely option, according to Silvio Berlusconi, former prime minister and leader of Forza Italia, which is part of the center-right coalition.

“The risk is there if the impasse drags on," Berlusconi said in an interview with Corriere della Sera.

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