Tim Dixon Profile picture
Co-founder of More in Common @MiC_Global and more. Ex-PM's speechwriter. Working to unite divided societies.

Jul 30, 2018, 10 tweets

Today More in Common is releasing a groundbreaking study of #Italy's attitudes towards #populism, national identity and #immigration, undertaken with @IpsosItalia. Some surprising findings: Italians are pro-migrant and anti-immigration. Here's my key takeouts: /1

We found 7 population segments in Italy: 27% with 'open' values, 24% with 'closed' values, and 48% in one of the 'middle' groups. Similar to other countries - but with more segments and more diversity of opinion in every group moreincommon.com/italy-report1 /2

Italy's populist wave is driven more by a rejection of political elites than by migration. 73% say traditional politicians don't care about people like them. Only 18% think globalisation has been good for Italy. 57% agree Italy needs a strong leader willing to break the rules /3

Italians do not polarise on a simple left/right liberal/conservative axis. Italy has hard-core nationalists who support refugees, cosmopolitans who want Italians-first labour laws and conservative Catholics at ease with Muslims /4

Faith is important. A critical force in countering the populist juggernaut is the Humanitarian Catholics who outnumber Italian Cosmopolitans, and who are deeply patriotic, very warm towards migrants and opposed to #populism /5

There's a fault line running through Italy's populist coalition government: Lega voters are extreme on #immigration and identity issues, while Five Star Movement voters reflect national averages moreincommon.com/italy-report1 /6

Welcoming the stranger is an important Italian value. By 40% (agree) to (27% (disagree) Italians say that Italy should accept refugees because solidarity and compassion are Italian values. 41% feel warm towards refugees, and only 29% cold /7

No issue in our survey evoked stronger feelings than Italians' frustration with the EU not doing more to help Italy manage the migration crisis. Though Italians remain pro-Europe overall, 81% say the EU should do more to help Italy (60% strongly agree), just 5% disagree /8

Just 18% of Italians think the overall effect of immigration on Italy is positive, and 51% say immigration divides society. But even more - 64% of Italians - say refugees should be welcome in Italy if they respect Italian culture and laws. Integration is what matters most /9

Only 32% of Italians believe smugglers' boats should be turned back at the cost of lives - but Lega's base of Hostile Nationalists support extreme action. This is the one issue where Italy seems most polarised between two opposing views. More at moreincommon.com/italy-report1. /10

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