M5S retains lead but loses ground, pollster says
Centre right and centre left both make gains22 March, 12:05
The PD and PdL saw their consensus grow by 1.3% and 0.9% respectively.
The centrist formation Civic Choice led by outgoing technocrat Premier Mario Monti lost 0.4% to stand at 7.9%.
M5S, Pd and PdL are contending the right to govern after inconclusive general elections at the end of February resulted in a hung parliament. President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano was due to announce who would be tasked with forming an executive on Friday. Pundits say any government may be short-lived and Italy could go back to the polls within a year at the most.
One scenario sees a reform to the much-criticised electoral law and Bersani's replacement at the PD helm by the younger, more media-savvy and centrist mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi.
Renzi is the leader Italians have most confidence in, the SWG poll found.
He enjoyed an approval rating of 49% compared to Grillo's 36% and Bersani's 32%.