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Centre-left PD stretches lead in new poll

Grillo's M5S and centre-right PdL both show decline

30 November, 12:29
Centre-left PD stretches lead in new poll (ANSA) - Rome, November 30 - The centre-left Democratic Party (PD) showed a rise in popularity as the rival Five Star Movement (M5S) led by gadfly comedian Beppe Grillo and the centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi lost ground, according to a new opinion poll published Friday.

The PD was polling 30%, up 3.3% over the same day last week, as party secretary Pier Luigi Bersani and Florence mayor Matteo Renzi prepared to face off in a second-round ballot on December 2 to choose the centre-left's candidate for the premiership in national elections next spring. M5S, the second biggest party, lost 1.6% to stand at 19.5%, falling below the 20% mark for the first time in months.

Likewise the PdL, in disarray as a result of recent local government scandals and confusion over December primaries, fell by 1% to 14.3%. The centrist UDC showed a slight improvement, rising by 0.4% to stand at 4.1%, trailed closely by a list headed by Ferrari Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo at 3.8%.

Italy of Values (IDV) headed by former anti-graft magistrate Antonio di Pietro fell by 0.3% to 2.4% in the wake of recent corruption allegations involving its leader and high-profile defections from the party. The Left Ecology Freedom (SEL) party of southern Puglia governor Nichi Vendola - considered the PD's principal ally - stood at 6%.

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