Italy center-left leads in latest opinion poll

ROME Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:30pm EST

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ROME (Reuters) - Italy's center-left Democratic Party holds a steady lead, ahead of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's deeply divided People of Freedom party, an opinion poll released on Friday showed.

The most recent entrant, the centrist Italia Futura movement, scored just under 5 percent, according to the survey by pollsters SWG. The movement, headed by Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, chairman of sports-car maker Ferrari, backs the agenda of Prime Minister Mario Monti.

Italy is to hold a parliamentary election early next year, probably in March, to pick a government and new leader to take over from Monti, who came to power a year ago when Berlusconi stepped aside at the height of the financial crisis.

The undecided portion of the electorate remains high at 27 percent, while 16 percent do not plan to vote, SWG said.

The following table details the results of the poll for the main parties, conducted by SWG for RAI state TV between November 19-21:

PD; 5Star; PDL; NL; SEL; IF; UDC

26.7; 21.1; 15.3; 6.2; 5.3; 4.8; 3.7

PD = Democratic Party

5Star = 5-Star Movement

PDL = People of Liberty

NL = Northern League

SEL = Left Ecology and Liberty

IF = Italia Futura

UDC = Union of the Centre

(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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