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Poll puts Renzi's PD 1st, Berlusconi's FI in 2nd

PollWatch survey forecasts tie for S&D and EPP in EU parliament

04 April, 15:17
Poll puts Renzi's PD 1st, Berlusconi's FI in 2nd (ANSA) - Brussels, April 4 - A voter survey regarding European parliament elections in May found Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right Forza Italia (FI) party in second place in Italy, with the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) pulling a strong lead, the Brussels-based polling company PollWatch said Wednesday.

Across Europe, the left's S&D is tied with the conservative EPP parties, for a predicted 212 seats each in a survey of all of the EU member states, the latest forecast by PollWatch found.

In Italy, PollWatch said the PD was enjoying a ''honeymoon period'' with its new premier, Matteo Renzi. The PD led in Italy with 32%, equal to 29 seats. But Forza Italia, shown in recent national polls to be behind the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), took a surprising second place with 22% of voter approval, or the equivalent of 20 seats for the three-time ex-premier's party.

The M5S, led by ex-comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo, was favoured by 21% of PollWatch respondents, which would result in 19 seats. PollWatch's findings conflict with the latest results by Trieste-based pollster Ixe', which on Friday announced 25.5% of voter approval for M5S versus 16.9% for Berlusconi's FI.

PollWatch conducted its nationwide survey using the methodology of three professors of the London School of Economics and Trinity College in Dublin.