My Authors
Read all threads
1/ As the year draws to a close, a short THREAD on challenges and opportunities for the most important Italian parties next year.

Here we go.
2/ Risk for the Five Star Movement (M5S): to become an ex-party. It is losing representatives in Parliament due to several reasons, & votes in the country. No-one expects them to recover the levels of support enjoyed in 2018 anytime soon.
3/ ... which will only accelerate their decline even further..

Add to this that the number of MPs/senators is being cut considerably (ironically, due to legislation introduced by M5S...), & add the internal rule that prevents M5S reps from standing for election more than twice..
4/ ...what you get is a huge incentive for all M5S reps to jump ship & join League. After all, the party is a large container of considerably different ideologies (yes, that redundant “thing” that was supposed to have disappeared, ideology..), & life in Parliament ain't that bad
5/ So far, for all the re-organisation that's going on, there’s no sign M5S have found identity that can keep them together + deliverable key policies & a strategy they can use to relaunch the party. Don’t think they can recover, hence I don’t see opportunities for them right now
6/ League: Challenge for Salvini is to push back against Brothers of Italy rising on his right, while going on absorbing Forza Italia & dismantling the M5S contingent in Parliament.
7/ First two objectives hard to deliver at once, as they involve hardening & softening of message at the same time – a “no to Europe, but with kittens” strategy.

Even bigger challenge: “differentiated autonomy”...
8/ ... that League-led regions Lombardy & Veneto (but also Emilia-Romagna) expect. Easier to push back against it for PD & M5S, but what would a Salvini PM do?

Impossible to resolve in a way that pleases the League’s grassroots in the north & prospective new voters in the south
9/ My bet is that there will be a fair amount of kicking the can down the road by a forthcoming right wing govt on this issue, but also that it will come back to haunt them. It has the potential to cause League very serious problems.
10/ Possibility of being put on trial for kidnapping migrants on a ship [] also challenge for Salvini (we’ll know on 20th January if the relevant Senate committee authorises the trial to go ahead – probably yes).
11/ It’s more an opportunity than a challenge, though. It feeds a strong and coherent narrative abt one person standing alone – at great cost to himself – for a whole national community. Guaranteed to be a vote winner.
12/ But will he go to prison? Not likely, & certainly not for several years in any case. Trial will take ages, and will be followed by an appeal, then an appeal against the appeal’s verdict.

By then, we’ll all be retired. Yes, even you.
13/ As League dismantle M5S contingent in Parliament by offering places in their electoral list & weaken the govt, they also make it harder for Renzi’s personal party to be associated with a dying executive.
14/ Renzi may well pull plug on govt & push for elections that the left would lose, if he thinks he can erode some of the PD’s support in the process, & grow to 6%.

Then he gets to fight another day, by telling the PD what it should have done to win the election.
15/ Further opportunity for Salvini (yes, there are many) is the regional election in Emilia-Romagna at end of January – can this trigger a process leading to national elections by the spring?
16/ For Berlusconi, the challenge is simply to hold on to that 7/8% he has & hope it'll be enough to make him king maker. Because if it isn’t (i.e if League & Brothers of Italy are self sufficient in creating right wing govt), this time it may even be end of the road for him...
17/ Gosh, can't believe I've even written this... let's see.

Also let's see under what electoral law the next election will be fought (more on this below).
18/ Huge opportunity for PD right now is to develop identity & some key proposals to start eroding M5S support among left leaning voters. In other words, they should do what League did in 2018: take control of govt agenda & look as if they were delivering to their constituencies.
19/ They have done the very opposite so far (this is the challenge...), by managing to become an appendix of a weakened and directionless M5S, & by offering blind support to their old foe, Giuseppe Conte.
20/ I have no idea how Zingaretti has managed to be such an unimaginative leader, after Renzi's departure gave him the opportunity to shape the party a little in a social democratic direction (or "any direction" for that matter).

21/ Their lack of strategy & non-existent message in an age crying out for boldness on left wing themes their opponents do not own (education, green economy, welfare, to cite the most obvious) I cannot explain.
22/ Can we expect a general election in spring 2020? On balance, I’d say: probable. Reason: soon we’ll find out whether/when there will be two referendums: one in which voters are expected to confirm that they want the number of Parliamentary representatives cut;
23/ another through which electoral law would become more majoritarian/less proportional (League’s idea). N.1 provides incentive to actual reps to pull down govt & get election now under the old rules –esp. for parties that are expected to lose many seats (read: M5S – see above).
24/ N. 2 provides the same to small parties that will lose out from majoritarian law. Hence Renzi may choose to bring down govt to be able to “weigh up" whatever his me-me-me party is worth after all.

(Important to know in do ut des negotiations).
25/ The forthcoming regional elections may also inflict final blow to M5S/PD govt. In particular, if the PD loses Emilia-Romagna it would be huge: the left has always ruled this region since regional administrations were introduced in the 1970s...
26/ If PD cannot even hold on to a region that it has always ruled while it is outperforming most of Italy in terms of economic growth & quality of services, then what can it hold on to? A defeat would inevitably trigger a war within govt btw PD & M5S.
27/ M5S would be accused of causing the defeat by not backing the PD’s actual governor for re-election. At same time, many within M5S will see that as a further sign that League is unstoppable – hence will jump ship in Parliament. In the senate that may be enough to lose majority
28/ (yes, that’s right: whatever happens, expect more M5S to jump onto a bigger boat: the League’s)

29/ But, I hear you say: aren’t all these also good reasons for M5S, PD & Renzi’s personal party to stick together then, and AVOID elections they would most probably lose? Yes, BUT...
30/... ONLY if you assume that parties are unitary/united actors & that – within them – people will push in whatever direction has been collectively decided is the best for the organisation as a whole.
31/ But, alas, they are not, particularly PD & M5S. They are networks of different factions pulling in opposite directions. For some of these factions the chance of losing an election in the spring would provide an OPPORTUNITY (opportunities, again...)
32/ ... to get rid of a leader they dislike & possibly take control of the party (or at least make sure that they acquire a more prominent role within it).

Both the PD & the M5S leaders would be much weakened by a League victory in Emilia-Romagna – for different reasons.
33/ This may well dwarf more rational considerations – including the fact that, if PD & M5S stick together until 2022, they'll be able to elect next President of the Republic – a huge prize given that the role, authority & hence power of the latter have increased in recent years.
34/ (See what happened when one Cottarelli almost got Conte's job in 2018. Who had to row back, Salvini or the President?

Exactly. Those pesky structural forces again.…)
35/ How are PD & M5S going to stick together till 2022?

Cannot see this happening – but will ask my crystal ball at the end of January. By then we’ll have answers to many of the questions concerning timing of referendums & results of regional election in Emilia-Romagna.
36/ So, lot's of challenges and opportunities...

Anyway, this was supposed to be a short thread. Buon anno to all and see you on the other side!

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Enjoying this thread?

Keep Current with Daniele Albertazzi

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!