Rome, Aug 31 (IANS/AKI) Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative People of Freedom (PdL) made a remarkable political comeback, emerging as the most popular Italian party, according to a survey.
A total of 27.9 percent of electors surveyed said they would vote for the PdL, according to a new opinion poll Friday.
The PdL has forged ahead of its coalition partner, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), whose support slid 1.4 percent to 24 percent since the election.
Berlusconi’s supporters didn’t appear to have alienated from the PdL by his recent binding conviction for tax fraud and possible ejection from the Italian Senate upper house of parliament next month.
But less than half (39 percent) of the voters believe the PdL should ditch the fragile coalition government if Berlusconi loses his Senate seat, as the billionaire media tycoon has repeatedly threatened.
Seventy percent of voters polled say Berlusconi should allow the PdL to continue in coalition with the PD even if the Senate does evict him next month.
But only half of the voters believe the coalition government should continue.
Berlusconi has been sentenced to a year in prison – to be served under house arrest or in community service – but has stated he will continue to lead the PdL.