Italians next leader?

Polls suggest “Brothers of Italy”, a far-right-wing and populist party, led by Giorgia Meloni will win the next elections.

Italy’s September 25 election was announced in July after the collapse of Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s national unity government. His majority coalition was composed of both left and right-wing parties and fell after having failed to end divisions and renew the fractious coalition.

Polls suggest the opposition party,  “Brothers of Italy”, a far-right-wing and populist party, led by Giorgia Meloni will win the next elections, with an expected 47 per cent of the votes. If this was the actual result, the right wing coalition would have the vast majority of the seats and could even be able to change the Constitution on its own, which is possible when the ruling coalition commands a two-thirds majority in the parliament.

The resignation of Draghi has spread uncertainty in the international markets and societies, and this phenomenon has been reinforced by the strict vision of the right-wing coalition about EU unity, immigration and fundamental human rights. Investors saw the former European Central Bank chief Draghi as a safe and reliable leader, but with the crysis of his leadership, their bets against Italy’s government bond market are at their highest since 2008, a sign of growing unease about Italy’s economic and political outlook.

What scares investors the most is the short and very ambiguous manifesto of the rightist alliance who is promising a new flat tax system at 15 per cent rate, early retirement with higher pensions and amnesties to settle ongoing tax disputes. These measures could hit the Italian economy hard considering the country’s high level of public debt and the recession Europe could encounter in the near future. In addition, Meloni’s anti-euro views could lead to an early end to the Recovery and Resilience plan, approved by the EU Commission, which is set to grant €68.9 billion and loan €122.6 billion to be spent in investments and reforms to help the country recover from the covid crisis and modernize the bureaucratic public system.

Meloni is now rushing to reassure markets and partners that if she becomes prime minister she will not usher in an era of conflict with European institutions. However, considering her past, with ideas controversially similar to fascism and interests in replicating the hungarian and polish semi-dictatorial system of power, she could try and change the constitutional norms and other democratic functions in order to weaken the connection between Italy and EU and strengthen her control over the country.

In opposition to Giorgia Meloni and the right wing parties there are two main coalitions, which could have a chance: the center-left wing coalition led by the Democrats party, with an approximate 29 per cent of the votes, and on the other hand the liberal democrats from the center, so called Third Pole, with an approximate 8 percent of the votes, but increasing. The Third Pole’s ambition is to get the votes from the right wing voters who will not follow the more extreme ideas of Giorgia Meloni and her coalition.

Everything is still open and polls can be flipped in these last 3 weeks of the electoral campaign as it has happened in the past. 

The Italian electoral system – Rosatellum – A parallel voting system

The parliament consists of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies

37 per cent of the seats are allocated with the first-past-the-post electoral system 

61 per cent using a proportional method 

2 per cent is dedicated to Italians exercising their right to vote abroad

A party or a coalition would need around 40 per cent of the votes to mathematically obtain the majority in both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. 

Image: Press Image, Fratelli d’Italia