March 18, 2018

What next? Post-election scenarios for Italy

06 March 2018, 08:56 | Anita Wise

What next? Post-election scenarios for Italy

GLOBAL MARKETS-Trade war fears, Italian election buffet world shares

Italy has been run by a caretaker cabinet since December 2016, when Renzi resigned after suffering a worse defeat than expected in the country's referendum on constitutional reform. Italians are voting under a new law, Rosatellum bis, a parallel voting system, which acts as a mixed system.

Salvini insisted in a news conference that his center-right coalition has earned "the right and duty to govern" and he was not interested in any new "strange coalitions". Although, the underlying theme is the rise in popularity of populist parties among voters.

This center-right alliance got more votes as a group, but M5S emerged as the largest single party in Sunday's parliamentary election. "We will be the ones laughing on Monday when Italians will probably take us to 40%", its leader Maio said, according to the Guardian. Analysts also said another scenario could be a grand coalition between the ruling Democratic Party and Forza Italia - a prospect that would reassure investors.

However, Columbia Threadneedle head of global rates and currency Adrian Hilton said while the result looks "messy", the chances of Italy leaving the eurozone have not gone up materially.

Out of this political auto wreck Italy must somehow form a functioning government.

Who ends up governing Italy will depend on the success of coalition talks that could drag on for weeks or even months, since none of the parties or alliances heading into the election will end up with a majority in Parliament.

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An exit poll on Sky Italia television showed the League on 14.5 per cent in the lower house, with Forza Italia on 14 per cent.

The center-left coalition headed by former Premier Matteo Renzi fell short of expectations, winning about 19 percent of the vote, according to the early results.

The euro is likely to see a choppy day's trading as more results come in from the Italian election and eurosceptic parties gain further ground.

On Twitter, French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, runner-up in last year's French presidential election and a strident European Union critic, celebrated Monday the strong showing of the League party.

Schroders senior European economist Azad Zangana said it was not clear who would lead a right-wing coalition as former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi - former leader of the Forza Italia party - was still banned from front-line politics. "That's why we feel the responsibility to give Italy a government". "We are expecting a result below our expectations. Centuries of history are at risk of disappearing if Islamisation prevails".

Some pollsters say the League could outperform Berlsuconi's own party, giving the far-right a strong voice in Italy's parliament. It prompted a racist "revenge" gun rampage by a committed fascist.

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