THE ITALIAN ELECTION has thrown the dynamite in the fire after the two populists movements gain the most votes. The Five Star Movement (M5S) gained 32.6% of the vote, whilst the centre-right coalition, notably consisting of far-right party the League (La Liga) and former Prime Minister Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (FI), gaining 37% of the votes. The League, who were the junior to Forza Italia, won 17% of the votes whilst the latter was trailing with 14% of the votes.

But what does this mean for the EU and Italian politics? Truthfully, there is very little that can be speculated at this point as they must form a government and M5S had previously ruled out any alliance but have since announced they are open for talks.

The rise of populism

The Five Star Movement are a peculiar group, they don’t see themselves as a party but a movement as they even claim to not be on the left-right paradigm. Their policies would certainly suggest that this is the case, they have five key issues and they are: public water, sustainable transport, sustainable development, right to Internet access, and environmentalism. The party also advocates e-democracy, direct democracy, the principle of "zero-cost politics", degrowth, and nonviolence in foreign policy. But members have previously used Fascist sayings and censored criticisms.

The League are no better, perhaps even worse because they are a more known far-right party, who call for deportation of many non-Italians and have even been known to praise Benito Mussolini’s; leadership of Italy during the Fascist era.

These populist movements have used the anti-establishment rhetoric within a time of economic and social upheaval. With inequality on the rise and people feeling increasingly disillusioned, political movements or party’s that are Fascist or Nazi in ideology can capitalise on a population’s dissatisfaction.

Making it look like your neighbour is the enemy hides the failings of a political system and despite most people understanding that it is the political system that is broken, most find it easier to blame someone else because that is something that is more easily changed. But the result is another indicator that people around the world are eager for change and don’t care whether it is violent or not.