Italy's centre left stops slide in polls
Lead over Berlusconi's coalition increases to 5.5%05 February, 13:40
The centre left, led by Bersani's Democratic Party (PD), saw its lead over the centre right rise to 5.5% in the latest SWG poll, 0.5% higher than in the previous survey on Friday.
The centre left had 33.6% of the projected vote, compared to 32.8% on Friday.
Support for Berlusconi's alliance also increased, but by less, gaining 0.3% to reach 28.1%. The centre left's once mighty advantage in the polls has been whittled down in recent weeks after Berlusconi embarked on a media blitz.
The centre-left coalition also saw its standing in the polls fall last week following a derivatives scandal at the Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank, which has historic ties to the PD.
The anti-establishment Five Star Movement (MS5) of comedian Beppe Grillo was steady in third place at 18% in Tuesday's poll.
The centrist coalition headed by outgoing Premier Mario Monti dropped 0.9% with 13.3% of projected votes.
Civil Revolution, a new party led by Palermo anti-Mafia magistrate Antonio Ingroia, fell 0.1% to 4.9%, still above the 4% threshold needed in order to qualify for seats.
photo: Pier Luigi Bersani.