Lega party tops polls thanks to 5 Star Movement

For years we have been told that the 5 Star Movement was a buffer against the extreme right. Instead it brought it to power. And now, thanks to Salvini's newfound visibility, Lega is the most popular party.

Ingrid Colanicchia
Ingrid Colanicchia MicroMega, Italy
Source: MicroMega
Lega party tops polls thanks to 5 Star Movement - NewsMavens
Matteo Salvini. Wikicommons

Why this story matters:

In a mere 100 days of government, the balance of power between Lega and the 5 Star Movement has reversed: the former is now first in the polls, having caught up with and exceeded -- albeit slightly -- the latter, which is supported by 30% of Italians.

This is truly paradoxical considering that Beppe Grillo's party has always presented itself as the one force that would keep the extreme right at bay by channelling popular discontent into a democratic path.

The 5 Star Movement is now at a crossroads: either they kill off the current government by calling new elections, which will lead to Lega's crowning as majority party, or they keep on endorsing undemocratic policies, which will also end up strengthening Matteo Salvini's party.

Details from the story:

  • The 5 Star Movement has traditionally presented itself as an alternative to the far-right, one that would appeal to the anger of voters while avoiding the authoritarian populism that surfaced in other European countries.
  • In fact, this bulwark against the right has proved to be a springboard that allowed the extreme right to land at the helm of the country.
  • Salvini's party has gained supporters during its hundred days of rule. Lega initially had 17% of voter support. Now, it is firmly ahead in the polls, having overtaken its coalition partner, the 5 Star Movement, which initially had 32% of the vote.
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