List of political parties in Italy

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Political parties in Italy are numerous and there are hundreds of parties which are no longer active. Since World War II, no party has ever gained enough support to govern alone. Parties thus form political alliances and coalition governments.

In the run-up of the 2018 general election, according to opinion polls, four major groupings are competing: a centre-left coalition, composed of the Democratic Party and minor allies; a centre-right coalition, composed of Forza Italia, the Northern League, Brothers of Italy and minor allies; the anti-establishment Five Star Movement; a new left-wing joint list named Free and Equal, whose main member parties are the social-democratic Democratic and Progressive Movement and the socialist Italian Left.

History

Between 1945 and 1994, Italian politics was dominated by two major parties: Christian Democracy, the main party of government, and the Italian Communist Party, the main opposition party. The other opposition party was the post-fascist Italian Social Movement. During its almost fifty years in government, Christian Democracy chose its coalition partners among four parties: the Italian Socialist Party, the Italian Democratic Socialist Party, the Italian Republican Party and the Italian Liberal Party.

For 46 consecutive years, the Christian Democrats led the government except for five years. Between 1983 and 1991, they led a coalition government with the Socialists, the Republicans, the Democratic Socialists and the Liberals. That was the time when several northern regional parties demanding autonomy organised themselves at the regional level. In 1991 they federated themselves into the Northern League, which became the country's fourth largest party in the 1992 general election.

In 1992–94, the political system was shaken by a series of corruption scandals known collectively as Tangentopoli. These events led to the disappearance of the five parties of government. Consequently, the Communists, who had evolved to become Democratic Party of the Left in 1991, and the post-fascists, who launched National Alliance in 1994, gained strength. Following the 1994 general election, media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi became Prime Minister at the head of a coalition composed mainly of three parties: his brand-new party Forza Italia (joined by several members of the former mainstream parties), National Alliance and the Northern League.

Between 1996 and 2008, Italian political parties were organised into two big coalitions, the centre-right Pole for Freedoms (which was renamed House of Freedoms after the re-entry of the Northern League in 2000) and The Olive Tree (part of the new, broader coalition The Union in 2005) on the centre-left. The latter governed from 1996 to 2001 and again between 2006 and 2008, while the House of Freedoms was in government between 2001 and 2006. In 2008 The Union ceased to exist as the newly-founded Democratic Party decided to break the alliance with its left-wing partners, notably including the Communist Refoundation Party. On the centre-right, Forza Italia and National Alliance merged to form The People of Freedom, which continued the alliance with the Northern League and won the 2008 general election.

In the 2013 general election, the latest to date, the party system was fragmented in four groupings: the centre-left composed of the Democratic Party and Left Ecology Freedom; the traditional centre-right alliance between The People of Freedom and the Northern League; Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement; and a new centrist coalition around Mario Monti's Civic Choice. In November 2013 The People of Freedom was dissolved and merged into the new Forza Italia, provoking the split of the New Centre-Right. In December 2016 Left Ecology Freedom was dissolved in order to take part to the formation of Italian Left. In February 2017 splinters from the Democratic Party and Italian Left launched Article 1 – Democratic and Progressive Movement, while in March the New Centre-Right was transformed into Popular Alternative.

Active parties

Major parties

Active parties having garnered at least 4% in the latest nationwide election or having their own group in at least a chamber of the Italian Parliament or 5 MEPs:

Party Political position Main ideology Leader Chamber of Deputies Senate of the Republic European Parliament
Democratic Party
(Partito Democratico)
Centre-left Social democracy Matteo Renzi
283 / 630
98 / 315
25 / 73
Five Star Movement
(Movimento Cinque Stelle)
Big tent Populism Beppe Grillo
88 / 630
35 / 315
15 / 73
Forward Italy
(Forza Italia)
Centre-right Liberal conservatism Silvio Berlusconi
56 / 630
48 / 315
12 / 73
Democratic and Progressive Movement
(Movimento Democratico e Progressista)
Left-wing Social democracy Roberto Speranza
43 / 630
16 / 315
3 / 73
Popular Alternative
(Alternativa Popolare)
Centre-right Christian democracy Angelino Alfano
20 / 630
19 / 315
1 / 73
Northern League
(Lega Nord)
Right-wing Regionalism Matteo Salvini
15 / 630
12 / 315
5 / 73
Italian Left
(Sinistra Italiana)
Left-wing Democratic socialism Nicola Fratoianni
13 / 630
7 / 315
2 / 73
Liberal Popular Alliance
(Alleanza Liberalpopolare)
Centre Liberalism Denis Verdini
4 / 630
12 / 315
0 / 73
Brothers of Italy
(Fratelli d'Italia)
Right-wing National conservatism Giorgia Meloni
12 / 630
3 / 315
0 / 73

Minor parties

Active parties having garnered at least 1% in a general/European election or having had at least 5 MPs, 2 MEPs or 3 elects in 3 different Regional Councils:

Regional parties

Active parties having garnered at least 2% in a regional election (or in a general/European election at the regional level), having elected at least one regional councillor with their own lists or having had at least 2 regional councillors:

Aosta Valley
Piedmont
Lombardy
Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol (Trentino)
Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol (South Tyrol)
Veneto
Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Emilia-Romagna
Liguria
Tuscany
Marche
Umbria
Lazio
Campania
Apulia
Basilicata
Calabria
Sicily
Sardinia

Parties of the Italians abroad

Active parties having garnered at least 15% in one constituency in a general election or having had at least 1 MP:

Parliamentary groups

Parliamentary groups not directly connected to a political party or coalition of political parties:

  1. ^ The group, active in the Senate since 2001, has been known as "UDC, SVP and Autonomies" in 2008–2013 and "For the Autonomies – PSI – MAIE" since 2013.

Former parties

Coalitions

Former coalitions having garnered at least 10% in a general/European election:

Government-only coalitions

Major parties

Former parties having garnered at least 4% in a general/European election or having had at least 30 MPs or 5 MEPs:

Minor parties

Former parties having garnered at least 1% in a general/European election or having had at least 5 MPs, 2 MEPs or 3 elects in 3 different Regional Councils:

Regional parties

Former parties having garnered at least 2% in a regional election (or in a general/European election at the regional level), having elected at least one regional councillor with their own lists or having had at least 2 regional councillors:

Aosta Valley
Piedmont
Lombardy
Liguria
Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol (Trentino)
Trentino-Alto Adige (South Tyrol)
Veneto
Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Tuscany
Marche
Molise
Campania
Apulia
Basilicata
Calabria
Sicily
Sardinia

Parties of the Italians abroad

Former parties having garnered at least 15% in one constituency in a general election or having had at least 1 MP:

Parliamentary groups

Parliamentary groups not directly connected to a political party or coalition of political parties:

See also

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