What is it about?

It studies the profiles of the voters of Lega and M5S. At the 2018 general election, Italy’s two main populist parties, the Five-star Movement (M5s) and the League (Lega), achieved unprecedented success. They secured an absolute majority of votes and seats and eventually gave birth to the first government in Western Europe to be composed entirely of populist parties. Although the two parties are today located on opposite sides of the political spectrum, their experience of governing together raises relevant questions about the compatibility of their electorates. Using individual-level survey data, in this article, we analyze the predictors of electoral support for the two parties. Empirical results show that the parties’ voters occupy opposing positions on the left-right dimension and do not share all populist traits but share a ‘demarcationist’ profile, as not only the Lega but also the M5s is influenced by anti-EU and anti-immigration attitudes.

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Why is it important?

It shows that both Lega's and M5S' electorate share anti-EU and anti-immigration attitudes


It shows that the distinction among populists with different ideological profiles in the left-right space does not necessarily imply a clear distinction in demarcationist terms

Andrés Santana
Universidad Autonoma de Madrid

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This page is a summary of: Anatomy of the Italian populist breakthrough: a ‘demarcationist’ fuel driving Lega and Five-star Movement electoral success?, Contemporary Italian Politics, November 2021, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/23248823.2021.2000346.
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