Giorgia Meloni is poised to become the next prime minister of Italy. With her victory will come the country’s most far-right government since Benito Mussolini and the National Fascist Party ruled during World War II.
If exit polls are correct, Meloni will become the first female prime minister of Italy. Her Brothers of Italy party is projected to win between 22% to 26% of the vote, which would allow her to outflank Enrico Letta, the centre left politician who is her nearest rival. Brothers of Italy are expected to form a coalition government with Matteo Salvini’s League and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia. Final results are expected on Monday morning.
Meloni scored victory while running on anti-immigration policies, as well as plans to limit LGBTQ rights and restrictions to access to abortion. She has also established a brand for herself by railing against the European Union, something which should make Western countries and markets skittish.
At the same time, Meloni has voiced support for Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with Russia, but her success in office will depend on how effectively she is able to deal with the country’s escalating energy costs, a problem exacerbated by that conflict, as well as the economic uncertainty gripping the nation.
Meloni prevails in Italy just months after France faced a similar choice between a far-right future and a more middle-of-the-road approach to governance. In that case, Marine Le Pen lost the French presidential election to incumbent Emmanuel Macron in April, even as she showed surprising electoral strength.