Published: 20 November 2016 Sunday, 07:27 AM
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi says the outcome of an upcoming referendum is still “open”, despite unfavourable polls.
Renzi’s hopes of winning his referendum on constitutional reform are dwindling fast.
Pollsters think undecided voters are choosing to oppose his plan.
Renzi has promised to resign if he loses the December the 4th ballot over his proposal to reduce the role of the Senate and transfer powers to central government from the regions.
Commentators suggest this could increase political uncertainty in the eurozone’s fhird-largest economy.
“This government was born to make constitutional reforms, as you remember. We’ve made them and it’s up to the citizens to decide if they are good or not. But our mission was to give Italy a reboot, it is stronger than before but still not as much as we would like, and the approval of the constitutional reforms which, as you know, is now in the hands of the people sovereign,” Renzi said.
The “No” camp ahead
A swathe of new polls were released on Friday.
This is the last permissible day as Italian law prohibits their publication in the 15 days before an election or referendum.
Of 42 polls by 15 different agencies since October the 21st, everyone one has the “No” camp ahead.
And the margin is growing.
Polls vary over the number of voters still undecided.
Estimates range from around 13% to 26%.
Around 40-45% are expected to abstain.
The heads of several polling agencies contacted by the Reuters news agency say Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the US presidential election last week – based on a wave of anti-establishment sentiment – seems to be a factor behind the widening lead for the “No” camp.
Others had additional explanations, but all agree that sentiment is hardening against Renzi.
This means he faces a tough task to turn around the polls in the next two weeks.
Trump’s triumph appears to have encouraged a feeling of rebellio against the established order which, in Italy, is represented by Renzi.
However, they also said that even without Trump, the popular mood is moving against the premier.