"The vote of Italians abroad: an anomaly in the new Italian political landscape?

Jan 23, 2020 202

BY: Simone Battiston e Stefano Luconi

In the parliamentary elections of 2018, right-wing populism and anti-establishment politics profoundly reshaped Italy’s electoral geography and party system. The xenophobic Lega (League) and the anti-establishment Movimento 5 Stelle (Five-star Movement, M5s) made substantial electoral gains in the domestic constituencies, paving the way for a coalition government.

Outside Italy, in the constituency for Italians resident abroad, the primacy of pro-system and pro-European parties continued to be affirmed. This article examines the extent to which the ex-patriot vote represented an
anomalous feature of the new Italian political landscape. It demonstrates that the electoral behaviour of Italians resident abroad showed patterns of continuity with the past, amid important signs of change.

The predominance of the moderate-progressive vote was challenged by the advancement of the anti-establishment and conservative forces. However, what the 2018 elections ultimately revealed, perhaps more than any other previous poll, are the existential challenges that this model of extraterritorial voting and representation now faces, including: low turnouts; allegations of electoral fraud; negative media coverage, and controversial changes to the electoral law, which gave momentum to proposals for constitutional reforms aiming at reducing the number of MPs representing constituencies abroad.

Simone Battiston e Stefano Luconi, "The vote of Italians abroad: an anomaly in the new Italian political landscape?," Contemporary Italian Politics, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1080/23248823.2019.1709760

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