After Sunday’s elections in Italy, two differing populist political parties are attempting to form governments following the collapse of the status quo. After being attacked for ignoring working-class Italians (a similar attack seen in the United States), the ruling Democratic Party (no relation to the U.S. Democratic Party), only received 19% of the vote.
The two parties that are attempting to take the lead in forming a government in Italy are the far-right, anti-immigrant League party and the anti-establishment, Five Star Movement. Though the League party is leading a coalition that together received 37% of the vote, the party by itself received 17%. The Five Star Movement, on the other hand, received 32.6% on its own. Both parties are claiming the duty to form a government.
Neither party or coalition, however, has achieved the 40% threshold required to win a working majority in Italy’s parliament, per their election rules. The party’s will spend weeks negotiating in an attempt to establish a ruling coalition in Italy.
VERDICT: The revolt against the establishment parties in Italy in favor of populists is the first success for populism since Britain’s 2016 ‘Brexit’ vote to leave the European Union. Since then, centrist Emmanuel Macron of France was elected President by defeating Marie Le Pen of the right-wing National Front party. Additionally, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was able to bring together a working majority coalition in Germany after five months of talks.
The election in Italy, then, illustrates the fact that populist, anti-establishment sentiments are something not unique to the United States, and so long as immigrants are coming into countries with perceived economic hardships, populism is here to stay.