July 29, 2022
Luca Mazzacane
(Pavia, Italy)

Western political fragility intensifies. After Boris Johnson's resignation and Macron’s conduct without majority consensus, now it’s Italy’s turn — again. 

The widely respected Draghi government has fallen, and new elections will be held on the 25th of September. Italians will be called to choose a new (and durable) majority and a new prime minister to lead it.

The current political crisis offers a completely new scenario where decisions are being taken only in the selection of parliamentary seats. Actually, Italians seemed not really shocked by the event. Citizens are experiencing their fifth change of government in the last six years. One of the best solutions to cope with this fragility might really be to get used to it.

In order to help clarify this new government failure, I'll offer a brief timeline of the events and key factors to consider.

  • The Five Star Movement is the party that started the crisis. Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio exited the M5S on the 22 of June, founding his new movement Together with Future, and fiercely criticized former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte over Italy’s support for military aid to Ukraine.

  • On the 13th of July, M5S abstained from voting the aid decree in favor of Ukraine. The Senate approved the decree and the M5S left the room, opening the crisis.

  • Draghi then resigned as Prime Minister, but the Italian President Sergio Mattarella rejected Draghi’s withdrawal.

  • Polarization: the moderate left immediately acted in support of the Draghi government, with the aim of preventing its collapse. The “moderate” right instead took the opportunity to promote snap elections. Funny that the main promoter has been Salvini who, according to the polls, would not have enough support to lead. According to the latest survey polls, Brothers of Italy, led by Giorgia Meloni, is now leading the political field with 22,4% of consensus.

  • After the Senate request for a confidence vote, the government collapsed, paving the way to three possible scenarios:

1) The PD stands together with the M5S and the united list of the Italian Left and Greens, but without an alliance with the center parties. In that case, the moderate right would win 221 out of 400 seats in the House and 108 out of 200 in the Senate, thus obtaining an absolute majority.

2) If the M5S won’t ally with the moderate left, the right parties would come to have an even larger majority, approaching 60 percent of the seats: 240 in the House and 122 in the Senate.

3) Only a broad alliance with PD, M5S, Left and Greens, plus Renzi’s Italia Viva could challenge the emergence of a conservative government. In this scenario the right would in fact have 202 deputies and 99 senators.

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