Twenty-one percent of respondents to the IPR Marketing poll said “it’s not right” to have a black minister in government.
“The Italian population is white and therefore a black person only represents a small part of the Italian population,” they agreed.
Seventy percent said having a black minister is right because “we must not be defined by skin”, while nine percent said they didn’t have an opinion.
Italy’s first black minister, Cecile Kyenge, was sworn into office in April and has since been the victim of a torrent of racist abuse. She has faced death threats, prompting the need for bodyguards, while members of far-right political parties have also used racial slurs against her.
When divided by political leaning the poll reveals that just eight percent of centre-left voters are against a black minister, compared to 29 percent of the centre-right.
Nearly three-quarters of supporters of the far-right Northern League party – 73 percent – think having a black minister is wrong.
In August Kyenge cancelled a trip to a Northern League conference, after she said the party failed to put an end to its members’ racism.