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The 2019 EP Election in Italy: A ‘Titanic’ Victory for Salvini’s League

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The 2019 European election in Italy had a distinctive national impact, given the pivotal role played by Matteo Salvini’s League, back then in government with the Five Star Movement (M5S). Both parties campaigned to highlight their influence on core issues within the government coalition. The League dominated the online campaign producing an outstanding number of Facebook posts (3,231) and reporting great levels of engagement (second only to the M5S). The ‘titanic’ success obtained by the League in the polls prompted a political crisis, which led to a new government coalition between the M5S and the centre-left Democratic Party.


  • Italy
  • European Parliament election
  • Facebook
  • Election campaign
  • Mobilisation

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-73851-8_10
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Fig. 10.1
Fig. 10.2


  1. 1.

    Newman et al. (2020).

  2. 2.

    Salvini’s account published 742 posts generating massive engagement: on average, 10,600 reactions, 1100 ‘shares’ and 2000 ‘comments’ per post.

  3. 3.

    On average, 29% of posts were coded under ‘Other Political Topics’. This residual category aggregates very different observations: from micro-level policies that could not be consistently connected to macro-policies to general political topics used to redirect followers to other sources of information. This partially includes references to non-policy-related valence issues.


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Ceron, A., Bordignon, M., Pagano, G. (2021). The 2019 EP Election in Italy: A ‘Titanic’ Victory for Salvini’s League. In: Haßler, J., Magin, M., Russmann, U., Fenoll, V. (eds) Campaigning on Facebook in the 2019 European Parliament Election. Political Campaigning and Communication. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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