Even without all the votes counted, Giorgia Meloni has swept to victory in alliance with Matteo Salvini’s League and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia. She will become the first female Prime Minister of Italy once all the votes are counted.
Turnout for the election was very low yesterday by Italian standards. After years of empty promises, and facing a cost of living crisis as energy costs spiral ever higher, many voters say they’re fed up with the political spectrum.
At 3am this morning, Giorgia Meloni appeared on stage holding a Thank you Italians sign. From her time as a political activist in the working class district of Rome, to Italy’s first female Prime Minister at the age of 45, her rise has been impressive.
Congratulations came in from similarly far-right groups across Europe. France’s far-right National Rally party leader, Marine Le Pen, praised Meloni and League leader Matteo Salvini for resisting “threats of an anti-democratic and arrogant European Union”.
In Spain, Santiago Abascal, leader of the far-right Vox party whom Meloni wished well just days ago, says “millions of Europeans have their hopes pinned on Italy”.
The Hungarian prime minister’s long-serving political director, Balazs Orban, also congratulated Italy’s right-wing parties. “We need more than ever friends who share a common vision and approach to Europe’s challenges.”
Meloni promises to serve all Italians
In her Facebook message, Giorgia Meloni promised to lift Italy up – the nationalistic tone that has seen her rise from a paltry 4% of the vote in the 2018 election to over a quarter of the vote four years later.
When speaking to reporters after acknowledging her victory, she promised to “govern for everyone”, not just those who voted for her. “Italians have sent a clear message in favour of a right-wing government led by Brothers of Italy,”
Her Facebook message says:
“Today, we have made history. This victory is dedicated to all the militants, managers, supporters and every single person who – in these years – has contributed to the realisation of our dream, offering their heart and soul in a spontaneous and selfless way. To those who, despite the difficulties and the most complex moments, have remained steadfast, with conviction and generosity. But, above all, it’s dedicated to those who believe and have always believed in us. We won’t betray your trust. We are ready to lift Italy up.”
Salvini’s League has poor showing
The last poll by YouTrend before the election showed Matteo Salvini’s League with around 13% of the vote. This has slumped to just 9%, according to latest results. This is a dramatic turnaround from three years ago when the League won more than 34% of the vote in European elections.
However, Salvini’s stance in recent days has shown a desperation in the politician. He has made every effort to stand out from his right-wing compatriots, including accusing European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen of interfering in Italy’s elections when she said the EU had tools to respond if Rome went nationalist.