Hung parliament emerges in Italy as social-democratic vote collapses


Hung parliament emerges in Italy as social-democratic vote collapses

Alex Lantier

5 March 2018

Yesterday’s general elections in Italy have produced a hung parliament and a historic collapse of the ruling social-democratic Democratic Party (PD). Initial projected returns show a surge of right-wing parties including the populist Five-Star Movement (M5S) and the far-right League (formerly the Northern League), and uncertainty reigns as to what government might emerge.

Official election results will only be announced this evening. However, current results show the M5S winning 31.93 percent of the vote, the right-wing coalition winning 37.12 percent of the vote, and the PD and its allies winning 23.23 percent. Inside the right-wing coalition, the League won 17.97 percent of the vote, while Forza Italia of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi won only 13.91 percent, and the fascistic Fratelli d’Italia won 4.35 percent.

Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni’s PD obtained only 18.98 percent of the vote, and its various political satellites won even less. The social-democratic Free and Equal (LEU) party won 3.35 percent, and the petty-bourgeois Potere al Popolo (Power to the People) party won 1 percent.

All indications are that a hung parliament will emerge, followed by negotiations between the various parties over how to form a governing coalition. Previously, rules over the attribution of seats in the Chamber of Deputies meant that a party winning 40 percent of the vote received an absolute majority of 54 percent. The election law adopted last year removed the bonus. Experts estimate that at least 40 percent of the vote are necessary to receive a majority of the seats. But now it appears that none of the parties will even reach this.

The M5S appears to have done…

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