It was a parade of nonentities with the charisma of a mousemat, so hardly surprising that la Meloni won; she has, admittedly, a gram of personality. Claiming a great victory, and sending Le Pen and Orban into paroxysms of delight, we should remember that it was a historically low turn out – a shade over 60% – so Meloni’s 24% a resounding 16% of the Italian people. Salvini will not be happy, he got less than 10% of the vote, and Berlusconi scraped in with a pretty miserable 8%, but he won’t care, as he has regained parliamentary immunity and all his court cases will now fall by the wayside.
Of course we are left, as usual and by design, with a hopeless coalition, and as usual, the shapeshifting Matteo Renzi is the balance of power – and he will thoroughly enjoy the next year of so of his Machiavellian strutting, before the entire house of cards collapses and we return to a technical government.
With the new electoral law, the latest in a series of terrible pieces of legislation, you need 3% of the vote to be represented in parliament. At the moment then the palatable term of centre right has just over 42%, the centre left around 25, the 5 stelle – 15, and Renzi vaunts between 7 and 8. A classic Italian recipe to do absolutely nothing until parliament is dissolved. Obviously there will be lots of shouting and headline grabbing, but nobody actually has the power to do anything.