With all but 2% of the votes counted, the right-wing alliance to which the Brothers of Italy belong trounced its nearest rivals, a centre-left coalition, by more than 18 percentage points. “It would be hard to imagine a more satisfying result for Giorgia Meloni and her radical-nationalist Brothers of Italy (fdi) party than the one that took shape early on September 26th after Italy’s general election,” comments The Economist.
That, or something very like it, had been foreseen in the polls. What was not fully expected was the extent of the Brothers’ dominance within the stringently conservative partnership now poised to form Italy’s most right-wing government since the second world war. Ms Meloni’s party, which uses as its logo the same symbol as the post-war neo-Fascist party from which the Brothers are descended, took more than 26% of the vote. That compares with 9% for the Northern League (half its share at the last general election, in 2018) and 8% for Forza Italia, whose leader, Silvio Berlusconi, had put himself forward as a moderating influence. In the next government, instead, the prospective role of the 85-year-old Mr Berlusconi and of the League’s Matteo Salvini—should he survive as leader following his party’s dismal result—will be to put up and shut up.