On Sunday the Italian electorate could make history by electing Giorgia Meloni as the country's first female Prime Minister. If successful she would be the head of the most right-wing Italian government since World War Two.
On Thursday Italy’s right-wing coalition held its final rally in Rome. The alliance formed by Meloni’s Brothers of Italy, Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and Matteo Salvini’s League party was leading the latest available polls by a large majority.
Italy's parliamentary election on Sunday could make history, giving the country its first female prime minister at the head of its most right-wing government since World War Two.
Giorgia Meloni's nationalist Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia) barely scraped 4% of the vote in 2018, but the party is expected to take around 25% this time around and propel an alliance of conservative partners to a clear parliamentary majority.
Giorgia Meloni was in an ebullient mood as she addressed a cheering crowd in Rome.
“Thank you for showing everyone that for us politics mean love and not hatred .. it’s about truth rather than lies. It’s a mission to serve citizens rather than a crusade against our enemies. That’s a crucial difference between us and left-wing parties”.
Change, it seems, is what many of tgose in the crowd are looking for. They believe Meloni’s consistency and her decision to opt out of Draghi’s ruling coalition has paid off. A man in the crowd told Euronews why he was supporting her.
“She has more charisma than anyone else ..she is the most serious of all and she has never changed her political ideas”.
And they do not appear to be concerned by the party’s neo-fascist roots., as described by a womaan in the crowd.
“Afraid of what ? Fascism ? Not at all, if she was fascist, I wouldn't be here. So maybe some people say that because she is not easily manipulated by strong powers”.
According to Andrea Ungari, Professor of Theory and History of Political Parties and Movements at Luiss Guido Carli, it was Meloni's clear and straightforward message that helped tgo increase her share of the vote.
“Her voters include people who are not satisfied with the current situation ..there are also those who didn’t agree with past Covid policies and who didn’t approve neither Draghi’s leadership nor that of previous governments”.
Many warned that a right-wing coalition win could affect Italy – EU relations. Raffaele Fitto is an MEP and co-chair of the ECR-FDI group and also a member of Meloni’s far right Brothers of Italy party and he gave Euronews his view on this issue.
“Within the conservative group, Giorgia Meloni’s position has been at times more “eurocritical” rather than as many have called it – “eurosceptic”. We have never been against Europe, but we think that Europe has made a few mistakes in some cases. Even in her role as President of the ECR party she has always been clear. She wants to remain within European Institutions to change a few rules to defend - where necessary and as other countries do – the interests of our country”.
With the polling embargo that kicked in two weeks before election day, the outcome of these elections is still unpredictable and many people may wait until the last moment before deciding how to cast their vote.
However, the right wing coalition was leading the last polls by a significant majority before the embargo was introduced. Voter turnout will also be crucial, as it is in all elections, because it will dictate the political parties’ crucial final results and determine their future role in Parliament.