Italy's new coalition government, which has pushed out of power far-right leader Matteo Salvini, is not popular among voters, according to a survey published Saturday.
The new executive, backed by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), is expected to be softer on migration and be less confrontational towards the EU.
But 52 per cent of Italians have a negative opinion of it, against 36 per cent with a positive one, an Ipsos poll published by the Corriere della Sera newspaper said. If people with no opinion are excluded, the government's approval rating is 41 per cent, one of the lowest for a new administration, Ipsos found.
The government was formed after Salvini's League party pulled out of a previous government with the M5S. Salvini hoped to trigger snap elections and capitalize on favourable opinion polls. Instead, the M5S and PD, two former sworn enemies, unexpectedly joined forces to shut Salvini out and avoid elections in which they stood to fare badly.
Saturday's poll showed that 45 per cent of Italians expect the government to last not more than a year, and 71 per cent think it should focus on tax cuts and welfare reforms. On the other hand, only 11 per cent of those polled consider it a priority to reverse hardline migration policies championed by Salvini.
The government is due to face confidence votes in the lower and upper houses of parliament on Monday and Tuesday. It is expected to win them, but probably with a slim margin in the Senate.