Yesterday it seemed that out of the blue a survey by the Ipsos institute was shaking our political landscape: it classified the Democratic Party as the first party and even relegated the League to third place (double overtaking!) After Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy. We therefore phoned Nando Pagnoncelli, prince of the Italian pollsters who is the president of Ipsos, to discover first of all that what was shocked was his work: someone pirated his data, spreading them clandestinely and without the apparatus of scientific notes which accompanies and completes the survey. “Since 2004 we have been carrying out weekly searches that are our property – he tells us -, Ipsos then sells them by subscription to parties, companies, banks and other private entities bound not to publish them”. And instead … “someone has broken the rules and is ruining my weekend”. Unpleasant. But let’s get to the meat: after having learned for weeks that Enrico Letta’s Pd floated as the second or third party around 20 percent, Ipsos places him on top of the podium with 20.8 percent of the votes (+0.8 ), followed by FdI at 20.5% (+1) and the Lega slipped at 20.1 (-0.4). Strong stuff, as well as a breath of fresh air not bad for the new secretary dem, immediately bounced on the home pages of news sites. But here’s Pagnoncelli’s version to put things right. “You don’t need to be George Gallup (the American statistician who invented modern polls in the last century, ed) to understand that, if the first three Italian parties are separated by a differential of 0.7 points, the statistical margin of error can overturn everything from night to day ».
THE MARGIN OF ERROR
However, there are some trends “and it is on these that it is worthwhile to think. In short: there is a party in constant growth, that of Meloni; a party that is undergoing a slow erosion, the Lega; and a party that remains stable between 19 and 21 per cent, or the Democratic Party “. Which Pd, however, net of the margin of error, now becomes the first political force! «It seems to me much more interesting to note how the abstention increased in one week from 37.5 to 38.8! So, if the cake gets smaller, it happens that some people benefit more than others ”. Let’s see if we got it right. The cake is reduced and the Democratic Party, for a carom of decimals, will enjoy a week of triumphal narration despite having at most two points more than the defeat of 2018 and with the allies of the 5 Star Movement sunk at 14.2? Pagnoncelli: “Look, what you don’t find in the spoiler of our polls, but which is very clear to us, is that many voters (about two out of three among those who do not intend to abstain) are inclined to vote for more than one party and the two most overlapping parties are Lega and Fratelli d’Italia, where it is quite clear that there are communicating vessels “. The news, therefore, assuming it is, is that “about half of the voters reward the center-right and with these numbers would lead them to the government, at least as long as a semi-majority law like the one in force remains”.
ONE VOTER OUT OF TWO
Also because, beyond the easy hangover, while adding up the centrist area, the Gialloros are traveling on a consensus quite far from 40 percent. But there is still a but, at least: why some of Pagnoncelli’s colleagues – most recently Fabrizio Masia’s EMG – give Lega and Forza Italia an increase (+0.3 and +0.2) since they decided to federate into a single government bloc, even to the detriment of Meloni? For the owner of Ipsos it is a false problem: «The announcement of the federation has generated some changes, but the volatility of the percentages is such as to discourage rigid readings, in a week our results and those of our colleagues could be overturned again. With such a short distance between the first parties, overtaking and counter-overtaking are not excluded, as happened this week ».
Will there still be constants? «The government is growing in consensus, the citizens are looking with increasing confidence at Mario Draghi and the consequence is that the fluctuations in party preferences are relativized. The truth is that everyone, pollsters and pollsters, are taking note of how the Draghi government has changed the benchmarks. On the left, so to speak, Nicola Zingaretti and Giuseppe Conte left center stage; on the right, in addition to the federation, there are Luigi Brugnaro and Giovanni Toti on the move. Right now what matters most, as I said before, are the more stable trend lines over time ». Let’s try to summarize: until it is clear which sums make up the total, it is the total that must be referred to. «Without forgetting that the voter is not Pavlov’s dog, he does not react instantly to any external stimulus. The political offer is diversifying, the demand remains much more homogeneous and is concentrated on the government ». If he then wanted to rage on poor Letta, it would be enough to ring the intercom to the senators of his party who during the week compulsively (and disseminated) alarmed the contents of a survey commissioned by them to Quorum (date: May 3): the Democratic Party is down by almost a point to 18.9 per cent, preceded by the Lega and pressed by FdI back by just two decimal places. That wasn’t enough: in the focus on the popularity of leaders, at sidereal distances from the confidence index reserved for Sergio Mattarella and Draghi, Letta leaves almost two points on the road (-1.9) and drops to 34.5 percent, sumptuously detached from Meloni which sails on 39 percent, gaining 2.7 points. Nobody in the media shouted at the shocking news, as we all get used to the more lasting trend lines that Pagnoncelli told us about. The only ones that really matter.