Migrants on a sinking dinghy wait to be rescued by "Save the Children" NGO crew from the ship Vos Hestia in the mediterranean . Photo: Reuters/Stefano Rellandini

Unending waves of migration to Italy from South Asia, the Middle East and Africa, which are set to surge during the peak season later this summer, are tipping the scales toward populist Italian candidates ahead of a general election next year, reports the Financial Times:

“Nando Pagnoncelli, a pollster at Ipsos, says that in 2014, just 3% of Italians cited immigration as a major concern. That has risen to 35 per cent this year. ‘The attention is rising sharply and it’s a very sensitive theme,’ he says. ‘The attitude is of closure [vis-à-vis the migrants] and the main reasons are worries about security, access to work, and access to public services.’ […]

“It is not entirely clear how the politics will shake out. Recent polls have the PD neck-and-neck with the Eurosceptic, anti-establishment Five Star Movement led by comedian Beppe Grillo, with each supported by about 27 per cent of Italians. Both are suffering, however, while Mr Salvini’s Northern League appears to be gaining. In some national polls, it is recording 15 per cent support.”