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The polls predict a difficult path for Renzi and his new party in Italy

September 20, 2019

ROME, Sep. 20 (Reuters / EP) –

The new party of former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi will not have it easy to claim the center in the politics of his country, as shown by the first polls after his break this week with the Democratic Party (PD).

The EMG Acqua poll for the state-owned RAI network shows that only 3.4 percent of voters will support the Italia Viva party, while the Demopolis poll for the private channel La 7 puts it at 5.2 percent.

This week 40 deputies joined the Renzi party, which makes them indispensable for the survival of the new government coalition between the PD and the 5 Star Movement (M5S). The former leader of the PD, who played a key role in the formation of the new alliance after the departure of the Coalition League with the M5S, has assured that he will support the Executive.

Renzi, who has maintained a turbulent relationship with his former party in recent years, seeks to attract center voters in the face of the expected proportional reform of the electoral law, which would benefit small parties.

According to the EMG survey, the PD has lost 2.8 points in a week, which would suggest that it has yielded the votes to Renzi's new party. “The first polls seem to show a trend: a good part of the Viva Italy electorate comes from the PD. From now on Renzi seems to have little attraction outside,” said Lorenzo Pregliasco, director of the political and demographic firm YouTrend.

However, Demopolis estimates a potential support of 9 percent for the new party, which has not yet presented a political platform but has already received criticism from left and right.

In an interview with the newspaper 'La Repubblica' this Friday, the former center-left prime minister Romano Prodi has considered that the name of Italia Viva would be more suitable for a yogurt, while considering that the Renzi step is a Threat to the new government. “You can't work to build a government and immediately undermine its stability,” he said.

For his part, former Conservative Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, whose Forza Italia party has generally attracted center voters in the past 25 years, has also attacked Renzi for facilitating the alliance between the M5S and the PD.

“Renzi was the main architect of the most leftist government in Republican history. I do not see moderate and liberal voters giving him his vote,” he said in statements to the 'Corriere della Sera'.