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Renzi supported by 52% of voters in new poll

Centre-left and centre-right alliances equal at 35.2%

21 February, 14:28
Renzi supported by 52% of voters in new poll (ANSA) - Rome, February 21 - As Democratic Party (PD) leader Matteo Renzi is poised to form a new government, a survey on Friday said the premier-in-waiting and his party still lead voter polls, but recent slippage in popularity means the centre-left coalition is now neck and neck with the rival centre-right.

Assessing Italian leaders, 52% of voters gave a thumbs up to Renzi, followed by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano at 40%, revealed the survey conducted by polling group Ixè for RAI3 television programme Agorà. Meanwhile the centre-left PD remained the largest single political party with 29.4% of intended votes, though it was down from last week's 30.5%.

The largest centre-right party, Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (FI), was supported by 21.7%.

That is less than support for the unallied, anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) led by comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo, which took 23.7%.

A centre-right alliance led by FI and featuring Renzi's junior partner the New Centre Right garnered 35.2%, exactly the same percentage of voters who supported the PD-led centre-left line-up. Another poll earlier this week gave the centre right a 7% lead over the centre left.