Although the official results of yesterday’s elections won’t be finalized for another few hours, the leftwing government has already come out and stated that “the populists have won,” referring to the victories of the right and the far-right which are showing in early results and exit polls.
For the moment, everyone in Italy is anxiously awaiting the final result as this has proven to be more of a nail-biter than expected.
In any case, it is clear that the current government of centre-left will not be returning.
The Italian government minister Maurizio Martina admitted that: “This is a very clear defeat for us. We are expecting a result below our expectations. This is very clearly a negative result for us.”
Who will come out on top remains to be seen as earlier projections had the Eurosceptic 5-star movement in the first place but the latest indications show that the coalition of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi with the far-right will be taking most votes, with a projected 37% of the vote.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bannon's weekend trip to Rome signals stakes as Italian populists flirt with becoming first European party to ride nationalist wave into power<a href="https://t.co/xBlIZbAyd3">https://t.co/xBlIZbAyd3</a></p>— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) <a href="https://twitter.com/haaretzcom/status/970253000982827008?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 4, 2018</a></blockquote>
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However, and here is the big surprise, it would seem that the far-right party of Lega Nord could have the biggest share of that vote, and this would mean that the far-right could deliver the prime minister, as Mr Berlusconi and Mr Salvini, the leader of the Lega Nord, have a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ between them that whoever delivers the greatest share of the vote, can chose the prime minister.
Mr Berlusconi had expected this to be him and had, therefore, traveled to Brussels last week to announce EC vice-president Mr Tajani as his preferred choice for Italy’s next prime minister.
As it stands, Italy could very well end up with a Lega Nord Prime Minister. Both Lega Nord and Forza Italia have promised to send back about half a million immigrants from Africa currently in Italy.
Mr Giovanni Orsina, a politics professor at Luiss University in Rome, stated at this time that: “The results are still very unclear.”
“The odds are still that there is no majority in parliament. But what is clear is that the centre left were punished. Italians didn’t buy the story of Italy getting better. At least the majority of them did not.”