Next Italian general election
400 seats in the Chamber of Deputies (C)
200 (out of 206) in the Senate (S)
The next Italian general election is due to be held no later than 28 May 2023.
In the 2018 Italian general election, no political group or party won an outright majority, resulting in a hung parliament. On 4 March, the centre-right alliance, in which Matteo Salvini's League emerged as the main political force, won a plurality of seats in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate, while the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) led by Luigi Di Maio became the party with the largest number of votes. The centre-left coalition, led by Matteo Renzi, came third. As a result, protracted negotiations were required before a new government could be formed.
The talks between the Five Star Movement and the League resulted in the proposal of the so-called "government of change" under the leadership of university professor Giuseppe Conte, a law professor close to the M5S. After some bickering with President Sergio Mattarella, Conte's cabinet, which was dubbed by the media as Western European "first all-populist government", was sworn in on 1 June.
In August 2019, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini announced a motion of no confidence against Conte, after growing tensions within the majority. Many political analysts believe the no confidence motion was an attempt to force early elections to improve Lega's standing in Parliament, ensuring Salvini could become the next Prime Minister. On 20 August, following the parliamentary debate in which Conte harshly accused Salvini of being a political opportunist who "had triggered the political crisis only to serve his personal interest", the Prime Minister resigned his post to President Sergio Mattarella.
On 21 August, Mattarella started the consultations with all the parliamentary groups. On the same day, the national direction of the Democratic Party (PD) officially opened to a cabinet with the Five Star Movement, based on pro-Europeanism, a green economy, sustainable development, the fight against economic inequality and a new immigration policy. However, the talks with President Mattarella resulted in an unclear outcome; thus, Mattarella announced a second round of consultation for 27 or 28 August.
In the days that preceded the second round, a confrontation between the PD and M5S started, while the left-wing Free and Equal (LeU) announced that they would support a potential M5S–PD cabinet. On 28 August, the leader of the Democratic Party, Nicola Zingaretti, announced at the Quirinal Palace his favorable position on forming a new government with the Five Stars with Giuseppe Conte at its head. On same day, Mattarella summoned Conte to the Quirinal Palace for the 29 August to give him the task of forming a new cabinet. On 3 September, the members of the Five Star Movement voted on the so-called "Rousseau Platform" in favor of an agreement with the Democrats, under the premiership of Giuseppe Conte, with more than 79% of votes out of nearly 80,000 voters. On 4 September, Conte announced the ministers of his new cabinet, which was sworn in at the Quirinal Palace on the following day.
Under Conte's governments, the Italian Parliament approved the so-called "Fraccaro Reform", from the name of the M5S deputy who was the bill's first signatory. The reform was finally approved by the Parliament, with the fourth and final vote in the Chamber of Deputies on 8 October 2019 with 553 votes in favor and 14 against. In the final vote, the bill was supported both by the majority and the opposition; only the liberal party More Europe (+Eu) and other small groups voted against. The reform provided a cut in the number of MPs, which would shrink from 630 to 400 deputies and from 315 to 200 senators. On 20 and 21 September 2020, Italians largely approved the reform with nearly 70% of votes.
The electoral system is a parallel voting system, with 37% of seats allocated using first-past-the-post voting (FPTP) and 63% using proportional representation, allocated with the largest remainder method, with one round of voting.
The 630 deputies are elected in:
- 232 in single-member constituencies, by plurality;
- 386 in multi-member constituencies, by national proportional representation;
- 12 in multi-member abroad constituencies, by constituency proportional representation.
The 315 elected senators are elected in:
- 116 in single-member constituencies, by plurality;
- 193 in multi-member constituencies, by regional proportional representation;
- 6 in multi-member abroad constituencies, by constituency proportional representation.
A small, variable number of senators for life are also members of the Senate.
For Italian residents, each house members are elected by single ballots, including the constituency candidate and his/her supporting party lists. In each single-member constituency the deputy/senator is elected on a plurality basis, while the seats in multi-member constituencies will be allocated nationally. In order to be calculated in single-member constituency results, parties need to obtain at least 1% of the national vote. In order to receive seats in multi-member constituencies, parties need to obtain at least 3% of the national vote, and 20% at the regional level for the senate. Elects from multi-member constituencies will come from closed lists.
The single voting paper, containing both first-past-the-post candidates and the party lists, shows the names of the candidates to single-member constituencies and, in close conjunction with them, the symbols of the linked lists for the proportional part, each one with a list of the relative candidates.
The voter can cast their vote in three different ways:
- Drawing a sign on the symbol of a list: in this case the vote extends to the candidate in the single-member constituency which is supported by that list.
- Drawing a sign on the name of the candidate of the single-member constituency and another one on the symbol of one list that supports them: the result is the same as that described above; it is not allowed, under penalty of annulment, the panachage, so the voter can not vote simultaneously for a candidate in the FPTP constituency and for a list which is not linked to them.
- Drawing a sign only on the name of the candidate for the FPTP constituency, without indicating any list: in this case, the vote is valid for the candidate in the single-member constituency and also automatically extended to the list that supports them; if that candidate is however connected to several lists, the vote is divided proportionally between them, based on the votes that each one has obtained in that constituency.
Date of the election
According to articles 60 and 61 of the Italian Constitution the election of both Houses of Parliament must take place every five years and no later than seventy days after the end of the previous legislature. Since the current legislature began on 23 March 2018 and its natural end would be on 23 March 2023, the next election must take place no later than Sunday 28 May 2023, since general elections usually take place on Sundays.
Parties and leaders
This is a list of the main active parties which would likely participate in the election and are polled in most opinion surveys.
|Five Star Movement (M5S)||Populism||Vito Crimi (acting)|
|League (Lega)||Right-wing populism||Matteo Salvini|
|Forza Italia (FI)||Liberal conservatism||Silvio Berlusconi|
|Democratic Party (PD)||Social democracy||Nicola Zingaretti|
|Brothers of Italy (FdI)||National conservatism||Giorgia Meloni|
|Italia Viva (IV)||Liberalism||Matteo Renzi|
|Article One (Art. 1)||Social democracy||Roberto Speranza|
|Cambiamo! (C!)||Liberal conservatism||Giovanni Toti|
|The Left (LS)||Democratic socialism||collective leadership|
|Action (Azione)||Social liberalism||Carlo Calenda|
|More Europe (+Eu)||Liberalism||Benedetto Della Vedova|
|Green Europe (EV)||Green politics||collective leadership|
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