On Thursday, Italy’s right-wing coalition held its final rally in Rome. The alliance formed by Meloni’s Brothers of Italy, Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and Matteo Salvini’s League party topped the latest available polls by a large majority.
Italy’s legislative elections on Sunday could go down in history, giving the country its first female prime minister to lead its most right-wing government since World War II.
Giorgia Meloni’s Nationalist Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia) barely won 4% of the vote in 2018, but the party is expected to take around 25% this time around and propel an alliance of conservative partners to a clear parliamentary majority .
Giorgia Meloni was in an ebullient mood as she addressed a cheering crowd in Rome.
“Thank you for showing everyone that for us, politics means love and not hate…it’s about truth rather than lies. It’s a mission to serve citizens rather than a crusade against our enemies. This is a crucial difference between us and the parties of the left”.
Change, it seems, is what many of them seek. They believe Meloni’s consistency and decision to step down from Draghi’s ruling coalition paid off. A man in the crowd told Euronews why he supported her.
“She has more charisma than anyone else..she is the most serious of all and she has never changed her political ideas”.
And they don’t seem concerned with the party’s neo-fascist roots, as described by a woman in the crowd.
“Afraid of what? Fascism? Not at all, if she was a fascist I wouldn’t be here. So maybe some people are saying that because she’s not easily manipulated by strong powers.”
According to Andrea Ungari, professor of theory and history of political parties and movements at Luiss Guido Carli, it was Meloni’s clear and direct message that helped boost his vote share.
“His constituents include people who are unhappy with the current situation…there are also those who disagreed with past Covid policies and who did not approve of either Draghi’s leadership or that of the previous governments”.
Many have warned that a victory for the right-wing coalition could affect Italy-EU relations. Raffaele Fitto is an MEP and co-president of the ECR-FDI group and also a member of Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy party and he gave Euronews his views on this issue.
“Within the conservative group, Giorgia Meloni’s position has sometimes been more ‘Eurocritical’ than, as many have called her, ‘Eurosceptic’. We have never been against Europe, but we think Europe has made some mistakes in some cases. Even in her role as president of the ECR party, she has always been clear. She wants to stay within the European Institutions to change some rules to defend – where necessary and as other countries do – the interests of our country”.
With the embargo on the ballots which started two weeks before election day, the outcome of these elections is always unpredictable and many people may wait until the last moment before deciding how to vote.
However, the right-wing coalition led the latest polls with a significant majority before the embargo was introduced. Voter turnout will also be crucial, as in all elections, as it will dictate the crucial end results of political parties and determine their future role in parliament.