ROME – Italian voters appear to have elected the country’s most right-wing government since WWII, after forecasts suggest a coalition led by Giorgia Meloni is set to take power.

Italians voted on Sunday in an election that analysts believe will kick off the far-right instigator Meloni – leader of the Brothers of Italy party – as the country’s first female prime minister.

If the forecasts and polls are confirmed, the right will take control at a critical juncture for the Italian and European economies, as Russia’s war in Ukraine will fuel inflation and test the limits of Western unity against Moscow.

Such a result would raise serious questions about Italy’s future direction at home and abroad. The divisive identity politics will suddenly find itself in the mainstream of the national debate as Meloni brings a new and potentially destructive voice to the top of the decision-making table in the European Union.

Predictions based on a partial count of the Senate’s votes in the Consorzio Opinio poll for broadcaster Rai, indicate that the Meloni brothers from Italy have 24.6 percent of the vote. the party of the Anti-immigration League at 8.5 percent. and center-right Forza Italia by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at 8 percent

Overall, the results would give the right-wing coalition a total of 42.2 percent of the vote in the Senate, if accurate. An earlier exit poll conducted by the SWG poll agency directed the right-wing coalition to a course for 43-47 percent of the vote.

After arriving at the party’s results gala, Brothers MP Fabio Rampelli commented on the exit polls: “These numbers allow us to rule.” There was no direct comment from Meloni herself.

Matteo Salvini, leader of the League, tweeted: “Center-right with clear lead in both the House and the Senate! It’s gonna be a long night, but I want to thank you already.

Lorenzo Castellani of the political science department at Luiss University in Rome said the details of the final result will be critical to Meloni’s chances of creating a long-lasting administration. If the forecast is accurate and the right is only about 42 percent, Meloni and her allies “will have enough seats to form a government, but most of them will be very limited, especially in the Senate, in which case it might not be very long,” He said.

If the exit poll is right, winning 43-47 percent of the vote would mean a majority of at least 15-20 senators “which means you can govern in a much more stable way without problems,” he said. With 46-47 percent, “they should have won 90 percent of the first seats out of office and may have a super majority of two-thirds needed to amend the constitution without a referendum.”

Turnout was just 64 percent, up from 73 percent in the previous elections in 2018, after heavy rains in many parts of the country.

The result seems to confirm the astonishing growth of Meloni, which the party won just 4 percent in the last election in 2018.

Meloni’s success is partly due to the fact that it has not been tainted with ties to previous governments, as it has remained in opposition since the founding of its party 10 years ago.

Over the past year, she has tried to transform the Brothers of Italy as a mainstream conservative group to appeal to more sophisticated voters, aligning completely with NATO and the US on Ukraine. It refused to endorse its allies’ unrealistic promises regarding pensions and taxes.

“Meloni has managed to remove voters from her allies because she is perceived as the leader at the moment, the most coherent and has not compromised in the coalition government,” said Castellani.

Over the past two weeks, her successes likely boiled down to a fashion effect where voters decide to join the winner.

The right-wing alliance has led the polls since the fall of Mario Draghi’s government in July, but the blackout of polls about voting intentions over the last two weeks of the campaign has created uncertainty about the magnitude of their lead.

Following the official confirmation of the results, Italian President Sergio Mattarella will begin consultations with parties to confirm whether the right-wing candidate can win a majority in parliament.

Under the right-wing coalition agreement, the party with the most votes proposes a candidate for prime minister. Given the necessary horse trade for positions in government, the next government may be out of office for several weeks.

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