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Andrea Pedrazzani

Abstract

The general elections of March 2018 opened, once again, a turbulent phase in Italian politics. While no coalition or party obtained an absolute majority of parliamentary seats, both the Five Star Movement (Movimento 5 stelle, M5S) and the League (Lega) claimed a win in the wake of the elections. The M5S turned out to be the most voted party in Italy, with as much as one-third of the popular vote. Surpassing its traditional coalition partner Forward Italy (Forza Italia, FI), the League became the leader of the most voted electoral cartel, as the centre-right bloc received as a whole about 37% of the vote. After a long government-formation process characterised by many twists and turns, a new cabinet was sworn in June 2018, including the M5S and the League as coalition partners and featuring law professor Giuseppe Conte as Prime Minister (PM). To mark a difference with the party system and policy processes which had characterised Italian political life since the mid-1990s, the leaders of the two ruling parties – M5S’s Luigi di Maio and the League’s Matteo Salvini – defined the new cabinet as the ‘government of change’

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