Italian election: Surge in popularity for eurosceptic protest party headed by stand-up comedian Beppe Grillo raises fears in EU
The political establishment in both Italy and the EU was quaking today after claims that a eurosceptic protest party headed by a stand-up comedian, would finish with the second largest share of the vote when Italians go to the polls this weekend.
Secret research conducted by the centre-left Democratic Party suggests the Five Star protest movement of comic Beppe Grillo, which wants a referendum on Euro membership, has continued to surge in popularity since official polls were halted in the run up to the general election.
Corriere della Sera said that these gains mean the demagogue comedian and his party of political ingénues would win a larger share of the vote than Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative PDL party and will have well over 100 MPs.
The mainstream, pro-Europe Democratic Party would still be favourite to form a government. But crucially, pundits say the surge in Mr Grillo’s support appears to be coinciding with a fall in support for the centrist coalition of outgoing premier Mario Monti.
A diminished Monti grouping would not be able to give the Democratic Party the support it will probably need in the Senate to pass legislation and provide stable government.
Vincenzo Scarpetta of the Open Europe think tank, said: “Even the possibility of an anti-euro party becoming the second-largest one in what historically has been the most pro-EU country, shows just how difficult it will be to continue EU-mandated austerity will be in Italy and beyond.”
Silvio Berlusconi’s populist coalition ally, the Northern League is also committed to a referendum on whether or not to ditch the Euro.
Italy’s former Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said: “I don’t rule out [Grillo’s Five-Star Movement] finishing second…This would be a tragedy comparable to Geert Wilders’ eruption into Dutch politics. One would then need to take into account the failure of the European idea in Italy.”
The polls open on Sunday morning and close Monday afternoon.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Ottawa shootings: Terror strikes Canadian capital as attacks leave one soldier and one suspect dead
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
£100 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are looking for Founda...
Main Teacher Pay Scale : Randstad Education Leeds: Teacher of Psychology An en...
competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: A global entertainment busi...
£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: This new opportunity has responsibilities des...