Italy's League Sees Support Dip as Five Star Closes Gap

(Bloomberg) -- Italy’s League party has lost ground to the rival Five Star Movement in the run-up to European Parliament elections later this month, polls conducted just before the start of a pre-election blackout period showed.

The rightist party’s support fell to 30.9% compared with an April 18 reading of 36.9%, an Ipsos poll for Corriere della Sera showed. Five Star climbed to 24.9% from 22.3%, according to the May 9 survey. The opposition Democratic Party, hammered in last year’s national election, continued its climb back, polling at 20.5% compared with 18.7%, according to the poll conducted between May 6 and May 8.

The League fell to 30.5% from 31.2% a month earlier, according to a separate Ixe survey for The Huffington Post. Five Star rose to 20.5% from 19.1%, the poll, conducted between May 6 and May 9, showed.

Though they share power in a populist coalition government, the League and Five Star have regularly locked horns on policy and spending during just under a year in power, and the parties will contest the European vote separately. The election is seen as a crucial show of strength for both. The League leader, Matteo Salvini, suffered his worst defeat in just under a year in government this week after his rival and coalition partner convinced the country’s prime minister to oust an economic adviser to Salvini, involved in a corruption probe.

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