Southern vote, abstinence and electoral law, key to Italian elections

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Italy is going to vote tomorrow in one of the most decisive elections in its history. They are the first to be held in the autumn, after a very short election campaign stemming from the unexpected collapse of Mario Draghi’s government in July. The latest polls, published two weeks ago, predicted a major victory for the right wing, led by Giorgia Meloni, leader of the Italian Brothers, which began in a neo-fascist youth but who now describes itself as a moderate. Trying to present. European rule. If the predictions come true, extreme authority could reign in a founding country of the European Union. But in Italy, elections are never fast enough. There may still be some room for surprise. Here are the keys to the vote:

electoral law

The current Italian electoral law, known as . is referred to as rosettelum By the deputy promoting it, Ettore Rosato, it was designed in 2017 with the aim of defending bipartisanship and preventing the rise of the 5-Star Movement (M5E), then an anti-caste force that sought to blow up the pre-established system. was threatened. It works in such a way that approximately two-thirds of seats are allocated proportionately based on the percentage achieved at the national level, but the remaining third depends on a majority held by single-member constituencies. In other words, the candidate who receives one more vote in that electoral college wins the seat. The remaining 2% is up to the vote abroad.


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This system, paradoxically, now greatly harms the centre-left as it favors coalitions. The right-wing bloc, made up of the Italian Brothers, League and Forza Italia, appears united and more likely to take single-member constituencies. On the other hand, the Democratic Party (PD) has not been able to reach an agreement with the centrists of the 5 Star Movement (M5E) or Acción, so its leader, Enrico Letta, is left alone against the Right. With this formula, if the right receives 45% of the vote, they can reach 70% parliamentary representation. The majority was so large that they alone could have changed the constitution if they wanted.

There is another peculiarity of these elections. They are the first since a referendum approved reform, which cuts MPs from the current 945 to 600, 400 deputies and 200 senators, with seats still heavily disputed. This was one of the great promises of M5E, and they fulfilled it when they entered government in 2018.

vote of the south

Poor southern Italy’s vote could be one of a big surprise in this Sunday’s result. The party, now led by former prime minister Giuseppe Conte, looked doomed to extinction, after several splits, a hundred MPs fled to other structures or became a traditional party due to suffering an identity crisis. Because when he came to rule. But in this election campaign, Conte has made a very wise decision by presenting himself as the defense attorney for the poorest people, based on the defense of civilian income, a unemployment-linked subsidy that drives them mostly in the south of the country. meets and improves what is right..


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Giuseppe Conte, leader of the 5 Star Movement (M5E), greets his voters in Milan

It is in the south of the country where most of the disputed single-member constituencies are located, and could be in jeopardy if Conte rises as experts predict by the vote of those who do not want to withdraw the subsidy. Has the right of majority in the Parliament. It is an impossible scenario, but in this last week it has become possible. “Early forecasts were that M5E would not win any single-member college, or at the very least. Now, we know they thrive in elections. But it’s one thing if they focus this growth in specific areas and win 5 or 6, and it’s another if the south has a full development and they win 25, when they can put the right into difficulty. , especially in the Senate. I think this is not the most likely scenario”, explains Lorenzo Castellani, professor of political science at Luis Guido Carli University.

abstinence and distaste

The latest polls predicted that this Sunday could be one of the biggest in the history of the Italian Republic. About 35% are undecided people who still don’t know who they will vote for or vote for. This means that about 65% of Italian citizens are likely to go to the polls, when the country averages more than 75% in national elections. “If the forecast is not met and inflows are high, then only two parties will benefit from it: Italy’s brothers and M5E, which have been rising in recent times. On the other hand, if the avoidance is high, it is for traditional parties will be better”, predicts Castellani.


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The reasons for the apathy of the Italians are varied. There are hardly any election pamphlets on the streets. The first is that it is the first time that an election campaign has started in the summer, with many people on vacation and did not start taking interest in it until September. After that there is no big news. The Draghi government fell unexpectedly, so the parties did not have time to prepare well. Most of the candidates except Meloni – although she was a minister and has been in politics for a long time – are former prime ministers, such as Letta (PD), Conte (M5E), Matteo Renzi (Italia Viva, or Silvio Berlusconi) (Forza). italia), and they are well known to the public. And then there is the fact that the biggest challenges, inflation or the energy crisis, are issues that most parties agree to solve because they are not as dependent on Rome as they do on Brussels. This is especially exciting, as in 2018, when there were two big issues, immigration from the League, and anti-politics, from M5E”, says Castellani. The future government had something to say on those issues.





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