December 24, 2014
A poll on Sunday showed that an entire third of Italy supports the rising anti-immigrant, anti-EU Northern League party. It saw a huge surge from last month.
Matteo Salvini, the youthful leader of the right-wing regional party, confirmed his status as the rising star of Italian politics with approval ratings of 35 percent in a Demos & Pi poll published by La Repubblica newspaper – up five per cent on November.
Salvini, 41, who launched a bid to extend his party’s appeal to the poorer south of the country amid much fanfare on Friday, came second in the poll to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, 39, who it said has the confidence of exactly half of Italians.
His rise is often compared with that of France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who has tried to steer the National Front closer to the mainstream in a bid for power.
But Salvini has had to overcome Italy’s much wider regional divisions and his party’s demands that the wealthier north, which he calls “Padania”, be allowed to break away.
The party has also traditionally held the rest of the country south of Tuscany in contempt. Even so the poll seems to show the party’s centre of gravity shifting south on the back of Salvini’s popularity.
In fact, 19 percent of voters in the centre of the country said they would vote for it – one per cent higher than in its northern heartlands – with seven percent of southerners saying they would support it.
Italy has seen an unprecedented surge of immigrants this year, with more than 150,000 rescued from rickety boats attempting to reach its southern shores from north Africa.
The immigration issue has officially crossed over from being an issue people could look at as “awwww, have a heart, look at these pathetic people, we should help them” into “wait, if we keep letting these people in they are literally going to take over our entire countries.”
The Jewish line of “no no, goyim, these people will become you somehow” might have been taken seriously for a little bit, but it isn’t anymore. People see what is happening, and they are fed up with it. Now it is just a matter of organizing and stopping it.