Italy appears set for hung parliament as populists, right-wing bloc win most votes

Italy votes, giving most votes to Five-Star movement
(Image credit: Laura Lezza/Getty Images)

Italy's anti-establishment Five Star Movement won the most votes in Italy's national elections on Sunday, but a right-leaning coalition is likely to win the most seats, with no party or group earning a majority, projections showed early Monday. Five Star, a populist party started in 2009 by a former comedian, was projected to win about 32.5 percent of the vote, followed by the anti-immigrant right-wing party the League, with 17.7 percent, plus the League's main coalition party, Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party, at 13.3 percent. The ruling center-left Democrats are projected to get just under 20 percent, with their leftist coalition earning about 22 percent.

"Everybody will have to come talk to us," said Five-Star senior leader Alessandro Di Battista. It is unclear whether the movement, which rejects establishment parties, will be able or willing to form a governing coalition. Both Five Star and the League are highly skeptical or antagonistic toward the European Union, but disagree about domestic policy and immigration. The Five-Star movement is led by Luigi Di Maio, 31, and the headline of Italy's La Stampa newspaper on Monday read: "Di Maio Wins, Italy Ungovernable."

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.