Far right set to make gains as Italians vote in regional elections

Italian PM’s popularity has dipped as national coalition faces its first test since the coronavirus outbreak

Italians will vote in seven regional elections on Sunday and Monday – the first major electoral test for the fragile national coalition since the coronavirus outbreak – with the far right poised to make significant gains.

While voters have mostly approved of prime minister Giuseppe Conte’s handling of the pandemic, his popularity has waned in recent weeks as the government grappled with the reopening of schools and economic challenges. At the same time, the government’s allies, the Five Star Movement (M5S) and Democratic party (PD), are weak at regional level compared with the tight-knit coalition led by the far-right former interior minister Matteo Salvini.

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