Home Europe Italian Government Poised to Collapse

Italian Government Poised to Collapse

Stockholm (Ekonamik) – Matteo Salvini – the Italian Interior Minister and leader of the Northern League government coalition party – has called for new elections in Italy, following a number of public disagreements with its coalition partner, the Five-Star movement.

The spat between the two government parties seems to have started during the run-up to the election of Ursula von der Leyen as the president of the European Commission, which the Lega opposed while the Five-Star Movement supported. However, it was a recent failed attempt by the Five-Star movement to block a highspeed rail link between the North of Italy and France that seems to have been the trigger of the recent call by Salvini.

While the statement is not a formal dissolution of the Italian government, it may herald it, as the support of Salvini’s Lega and its 37% of seats in Parliament is crucial for the survival of the Italian executive.

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At the latest poll conducted on August 9th, Salvini’s Lega enjoyed 38% of voter intentions, according to a poll conducted by Noto. That poll echoed the results of an August 5th poll conducted by Tecne, which gave Lega a similar level of support.

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The March 4, 2018 election and the ongoing coalition government has been a boon to the Lega which has gone from enjoying the support of about 17% of the electorate to almost a third. Polls suggest it has been able to attract voters from both the Five-Star Movement as well as from Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (FI). The opposite trend has been true for the Five-Star movement, whose supporters have not only reached out to Lega but also to the Centre-Left Democratic Party (PD), leaving it with a mere 17.5% of voter intentions on August 9th.

The disparate trends in voter intentions seem to tip the balance of probabilities in favour of Salvini calling for new elections soon.

Picture from Pixabay

Filipe Wallin Albuquerque
Filipe Wallin Albuquerque
Filipe is an economist with 8 years of experience in macroeconomic and financial analysis for the Economist Intelligence Unit, the UN World Institute for Development Economic Research, the Stockholm School of Economics and the School of Oriental and African Studies. Filipe holds a MSc in European Political Economy from the LSE and a MSc in Economics from the University of London, where he currently is a PhD candidate.

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