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Forecast: Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy win EU vote

In World
June 10, 2024

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s nationalist Brothers of Italy (FdI) party has come first in the country’s European Parliament elections, winning 26-30% of the vote according to a forecast by national public broadcaster Rai.

If confirmed, this would be an increase of around 20 percentage points compared to the 2019 European elections, placing the party ahead of all other on the left and right of the political spectrum.

The forecast puts in second place a left-wing alliance led by the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) party under opposition leader Elly Schlein, with 21 to 25% of the vote.

Meloni was the so-called lead candidate for the FdI, which has its roots in Italy’s post-fascist movement. However, she does not want to take up a seat in the European Parliament, preferring to remain in Rome as prime minister.

The 47-year old has led a coalition of three right-wing parties since October 2022. Sunday’s result is expected to give her considerable influence at the European level – including on Ursula von der Leyen’s future as European Commission president.

In the 2019 European elections, the FdI, still in opposition, won just 6.4% of the vote.

Sunday’s projected result consolidates the power of Meloni’s party as by far the strongest member of the ruling right-wing coalition. The two smaller partners, Forza Italia – founded by the deceased former premier Silvio Berlusconi – and Lega, led by Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, were forecast to win 8.5-10.5% and 8-10% respectively.

The result for the FdI, if confirmed, is also a slight improvement on the last domestic parliamentary election, when they won 26% of the vote.

The left-wing populist Five Star Movement of former prime minister Giuseppe Conte is forecast to achieve between 10% and 14%. The Greens and Left Alliance achieved 5-7%.

There are a total of 47 million eligible voters in Italy, giving the southern European country – one of the European Union’s founding states – 76 seats in the 720-seat European Parliament.

Meloni made it clear during the election campaign that she expects Italy to receive a top post in the future European Commission.

Italy was the last of the 27 EU member states to close its polling stations on Sunday evening, at 11 pm (2100 GMT). Provisional official results are expected by Monday morning.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni casts her vote at a polling station during the European Parliament elections. Mauro Scrobogna/LaPresse via ZUMA Press/dpa

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni casts her vote at a polling station during the European Parliament elections. Mauro Scrobogna/LaPresse via ZUMA Press/dpa

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