The deep roots of populism: Protest, apathy and the success of Movimento 5 Stelle in the 2013 Italian Elections
Previous studies have argued that voters’ attitudes of apathy and protest towards the Italian party system, triggered by the economic crisis of 2011, were exploited by Movimento 5 Stelle to increase its support in the 2013 Elections. However, little attention has been paid to the determinants of dissatisfaction that voters showed even before the sovereign debt crisis. In addition to providing a thorough geographical exploration of the party’s geographical scattering (with the aid of global and local indicators of spatial autocorrelation), this article tests the relationship between the strength of the Movimento in 2013 and apathy and protest indicators in the pre-crisis period. SAR (Spatial Auto-Regressive) regression models will be employed in order to avoid biased estimates due to spatial autocorrelation. Results show that indicators of apathy or protest represent significant predictors of the Movimento 5 Stelle’s geographical distribution.