Giorgia Meloni won by a huge margin in Italy’s election on Sunday. She is now the country’s first female prime minister and will lead the most conservative government since World War II. According to RAI estimations, her alliance, which also includes Matteo Salvini’s League and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, received approximately 43% of the vote. That would give the alliance at least 114 seats in the Senate, where a majority of 104 votes is required.

Meloni rose from the political margins after leading the resistance to Mario Draghi’s technocratic administration, which had stabilized the country in the 18 months since the pandemic’s devastation. However, the dynamic 45-year-old has little experience in government, and she would take power at a critical juncture in her country’s history.


The next Italian administration will face a succession of overlapping problems as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine fuels high inflation and undermines the economy. The damage to Italy’s finances, along with the likelihood of future interest-rate hikes from the European Central Bank, has pushed the yield on Italy’s 10-year bonds to more than 4.3%, up from less than 1% in December.

Meloni to supporters

“We haven’t arrived,”, Meloni told supporters in the early hours of Monday at a downtown Rome hotel. “This is merely a beginning point. And tomorrow, we’ll have to prove our worth. “. Traders shrugged aside the outcome in the Asian hours, with all eyes on the pound’s fall. Sterling plunged as much as 3.7% versus the euro in one day, its worst intraday drop against the single currency since the Brexit vote in 2016.

Following the release of the official results, President Sergio Mattarella will speak with party leaders before virtually definitely appointing Meloni to form the next government. That procedure could still take several weeks. On Oct. 13, the new parliament, which has 200 senators and 400 members of the lower house, will meet for the first time.

Meloni began her political career as a far-right activist in the 1990s, and her campaigning is now characterized by venomous attacks on the European Union, immigration, and LGBTQ groups. She has also tried to convince voters and investors that she will keep Italy’s massive debt under control and that she will not call the country’s international alliances or backing for Ukraine into question.

“The concern is whether they will break from Draghi’s reform agenda, which will have an impact on whether the money will continue to flow from the EU,” said Geoffrey Yu, a senior FX strategist at Bank of New York Mellon in London. Meloni is anticipated to wield considerable power in the government as she seeks to undo some of the policies implemented by Draghi in an effort to increase growth. Seeking big changes might jeopardize a European Union spending plan for over 200 billion euros ($198 billion) in pandemic recovery funding.

Draghi has spent over 66 billion euros to assist households and businesses while resisting political pressure to increase the budget deficit. That could be one of the first quandaries confronting a Meloni government. The right-wing alliance has also criticized Draghi’s promise to change the old tax system and make it easier for businesses to compete in order to get EU money.

Vote percentage

The result propels Meloni’s group, the Brothers of Italy, to new heights. The party received more than 25% of the vote, up from 4% in the last election in 2018. Meloni’s primary opponent in the campaign, Enrico Letta’s Democratic Party, finished second with 19% of the vote and is expected to lead the opposition. The anti-establishment Five Star Movement, led by Giuseppe Conte, grew at the end of the election to get about 16% of the vote. It is expected to be a major force in the opposition.

Meloni will be keeping a tight check on her coalition ally Salvini, whose party underperformed with approximately 9% of the vote, as she prepares to take office at the end of next month. When his party was ahead in the polls with 34% in 2019, Salvini thought he would be Italy’s next prime minister. He has only reluctantly come to terms with the fact that the Brothers of Italy are a bigger deal.

“It won’t be long before the government is put to the test by internal difficulties,” said Giorgia Serughetti, a political science professor at Milan University. The league’s lack of support was unexpected. Prepare for a government led by Meloni, but with significant internal volatility.”. During the campaign, Salvini has taken a more aggressive stance on increasing borrowing to help Italians deal with the energy problem, and he has questioned how well sanctions against Russia are working.

In her election night address, Meloni praised both him and Berlusconi for their support and the spirit with which they campaigned while also paying respect to her staff. “You do what is required first, then what is possible,” she replied, paraphrasing St. Francis. “You’ll end up accomplishing the impossible.”

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