Rome, June 30 – The ruling Democratic Party (PD) of Premier Paolo Gentiloni came out first with a 0.6% margin over the anti-establishment Five-Star Movement (M5S) in a survey on voters’ preferences by polling institute Ixè that was published Friday by Raitre’s Agorà program. The poll was carried out right after local-election runoffs on Sunday and showed that the PD lost 1.9% in voters’ preferences to drop to 27.4% while the M5S of leader Beppe Grillo was down 1.2% to 26.8%, compared to a poll carried out by Ixè at the end of May. Meanwhile the anti-migrant Northern League (LN) and the conservative Forza Italia (FI) party of Silvio Berlusconi, the big winners of the runoffs, gained respectively 1.4% to reach 14% and 0.7% to 13.7%. Confidence in Gentiloni’s government was stable over the past month at 34% while the leader of the ruling Democratic Party, ex-premier Matteo Renzi, lost 2% over the past month, down to 28% from 30%, the survey said. A reported 23% of those polled said they had confidence in Northern League leader Matteo Salvini, 17% in Berlusconi and the leader of the rightwing Brothers of Italy (Fdl) Giorgia Meloni, 15% in Grillo and 20% in M5S Deputy Lower House Speaker Luigi Di Maio. The center-right bloc made up of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, the Northern League (LN) and the Brothers of Italy party was the big winner of local-election run-offs in many Italian towns and cities on Sunday. The center-right won most of the contests in the 22 provincial capitals, with the center-left losing strongholds such as Genoa and Pistoia. The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) was absent from most run-offs after performing badly in the first round. The center-left’s defeats led to criticism of Matteo Renzi.