It wasn’t even close. Upstart Matteo Salvini, who ran on a platform that included deporting half a million migrants absolutely crushed incumbent Silvio Berlusconi. Ironically, Salvini and his party failed to secure an outright majority and will have to form a coalition government with Berlusconi’s party. The Italian presidential election closely mirrored the US presidential election in 2016. Both Trump and Salvini promised to deport immigrants and both focused on jobs for countries that were hurting in that area. Both rejected the open borders policies of the Establishment parties and both won surprising victories.
Salvini’s election is a major blow to the European Union. After Macron and Merkel defeated populists, they believed that Berlusconi would win easily and return stability to the EU after Great Britain voted to leave the European Union. That didn’t pan out and now uncertainty has returned to haunt them. The bottom line is that globalism is the enemy of the people and when push comes to shove, people will usually vote in their own best interests.
A pair of populist parties that rode a wave of voter anger over jobs and immigration in Italy’s general election on Sunday are now pressing to form governments after the election day collapse of the traditional parties that have dominated Italian politics for years.
Matteo Salvini, head of the far-right, anti-immigrant League party, claimed he had “the right and the duty” to lead a government after taking about 17% of the vote, which put him in pole position in a broader coalition that led voting with 37%.
Salvini was challenged on Monday by Luigi Di Maio, head of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, who said his party was “the absolute winner” after it drew 32.6% of votes, making it the largest single party.
Europe is holding it’s collective breath waiting to see what steps the Italian government will make after the win by populist Salvini.