The Italian Election of February 2013: A Temporary Shock or a Harbinger of a New Party System?

  • Paolo Segatti
Part of the Perspectives in Business Culture book series (PEPIBC)


The February 2013 elections were the most volatile in Italian entire democratic history. All post 1994 parties lost millions of votes. Who benefitted were two new actors, Scelta Civica leaded by Mario Monti and the 5 Stars Movement leaded by the former comedian Beppe Grillo, which received one out of four valid votes. The earthquake altered the post-94 bipolar pattern of competition, for three poles of almost equal size emerged instead of two. Moreover, the election results were chaotic since the 2005 electoral law made impossible a coherent parliamentary majority in both chambers, provoking a political paralysis and finally paving the way to a new grand coalition between the Pd and Pdl, plus Scelta Civica. Does the February 2013 elections are a harbinger of a political system different from the previous (1994 to 2008) one, or they are a temporary shock? This chapter will analyse the 2013 results in comparison to elections prior to 2013. It will assess the extent to which the Italian voters have changed their political and ideological predispositions along with their electoral behaviour. This chapter concludes that while many voters changed their vote in February 2013, voters did not change their ideological positions. It is too early to tell whether and to what extent Italy’s electorate has have changed its ideological outlook after the February 2013 elections. One could expect that if the 2013 earthquake is a harbinger of a new political system, this will depend on the consolidation of the political forces which emerged in February 2013 and on the restructuring of the others.


Political System Vote Behaviour Party System Vote Choice Political Space 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social and Political SciencesUniversity of MilanMilanItaly

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