EU Establishment Reels As Populist Parties Dominate Italian Elections

Will Racke – March 5, 2018

Right-wing and populist parties rode concerns over immigration and the economy to big gains in Italy’s parliamentary elections Sunday, dealing a major blow to the European Union establishment.

The Euroskeptic, anti-establishment Five Star Movement was the biggest single winner with about a third of the vote, though it will not have enough seats to form a government. A separate coalition comprising the far-right League and center-right Forza Italia is set to win most seats in the lower house of parliament, with a combined 37 percent of the vote.

In contrast, the ruling center-left coalition, composed of the Democratic Party and the liberal More Europe, mustered just 23 percent.

“It’s a fantastic victory which fills us with pride,” League leader Matter Salvini said, according to the BBC. He added that Italian voters had “made a step forward to be free from the cages and ties that are bringing back hunger and insecurity in Europe.”