Italy shifts to the right as voters reward Meloni's party
A party with neo-fascist roots, the Brothers of Italy, won the most votes in Italy’s national elections, looking set to deliver the country’s first far-right-led government since World War II and make its leader, Giorgia Meloni, Italy's first woman premier, near-final results showed Monday.
Italy’s lurch to the far right immediately shifted Europe’s geopolitical reality, placing a euroskeptic party in position to lead a founding member of the European Union and its third-largest economy.
Right-wing leaders across Europe immediately hailed Meloni’s victory and her party’s meteoric rise as sending a historic message to Brussels.
Near-final results showed the center-right coalition netting some 44% of the parliamentary vote, with Meloni’s Brothers of Italy snatching some 26%.
Her coalition partners divided up the remainder, with the anti-immigrant League of Matteo Salvini winning nearly 9% and the more moderate Forza Italia of ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi taking around 8%.
The center-left Democratic Party and its allies had around 26%, while the 5-Star Movement — which had been the biggest vote-getter in 2018 Parliamentary elections — saw its share of the vote halved to some 15% this time around.
Turnout was a historic low 64%. Pollsters suggested voters stayed home in part in protest and also because they were disenchanted by the backroom deals that had created the three governments since the previous election.