Italy's governing coalition might be united in the face of external challenges when it comes to its 2019 budget, but voter polls show changing fortunes for the Lega party and the Five Star Movement (M5S).
In fact, the right-wing Lega is now seen as "robbing" votes from its coalition partner. In the latest opinion polls in Italy published by Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera on Saturday, Lega was seen with 34.7 percent of the vote, a large increase from the 17.4 percent share the party won at the general election in March. Its governing partner M5S has failed to capitalize on its prominent position, however, sliding 4 percentage points to 28.7 percent.
In the springtime election, the left-wing anti-establishment M5S party gained the biggest share of the vote for any single party but Lega gained the most votes within an alliance of right-leaning parties (including former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party). As neither M5S or the right gained enough of the vote to govern alone, M5S and Lega formed a coalition government, one that has been noted for its euroskeptic and populist rhetoric ever since.
With its often controversial and outspoken leader, Matteo Salvini, who is both deputy prime minister and interior minister, Lega has emerged as arguably the more dominant party in the coalition. M5S, on the other hand, is led by Neapolitan Luigi Di Maio who is also minister for economic development.
Now, it appears that the Lega party — despite its pro-Northern, secessionist reputation and roots — is winning voters from across Italy and many of these are coming from M5S' traditional heartland. The poll in the Corriere della Sera newspaper showed that M5S has seen its share of the vote fall across all regions, especially in the north.