Centre-right coalition (Italy)

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Centre-right coalition
Coalizione di centrodestra
LeaderGiorgia Meloni
FoundedFebruary 1994[1]
Ideology
Political positionCentre-right[2][3][4][5][6]
to far-right[7][8][9]
[10]
ColoursBlue
Chamber of Deputies
237 / 400
Senate of the Republic
115 / 200
European Parliament[a]
42 / 76
Regional Government
14 / 20
Regional Councils
476 / 897

  1. ^ Including Lega, FI, FdI.

The centre-right coalition (Italian: coalizione di centro-destra) is an alliance of political parties in Italy, active—under several forms and names—since 1994, when Silvio Berlusconi entered politics and formed his Forza Italia party. Despite its name, the alliance mostly falls on the right-wing of the political spectrum.

In the 1994 general election, under the leadership of Berlusconi, the centre-right ran with two coalitions, the Pole of Freedoms in northern Italy and Tuscany (mainly Forza Italia and the Northern League) and the Pole of Good Government (mainly Forza Italia and National Alliance) in central and southern Italy.[11][12] In the 1996 general election, after the Northern League had left in late 1994, the centre-right coalition took the name of Pole for Freedoms. The Northern League returned in 2000, and the coalition was re-formed as the House of Freedoms; this lasted until 2008.[13]

Since 2008, when Forza Italia and National Alliance merged into The People of Freedom, the coalition has not had official names. The new Forza Italia was formed in late 2013; for the 2018 general election it joined forces with the Northern League and Brothers of Italy and a collection of mainly centrist forces named Us with ItalyUnion of the Centre.

In 2018, the Northern League formed a government coalition with the Five Star Movement and without its centre-right allies, which entered the opposition. This led to a deterioration of the centre-right coalition at a national level, although the coalition is still active at the level of local elections.[citation needed]

During the 2022 general election, the center-right coalition obtained a decisive victory by securing the absolute majority of seats in both chambers. Brothers of Italy emerged as the first party by surpassing the League and gained six million votes in four years. This is the first time the center-right won a general election since 2008.

History[edit]

Pole of Freedoms and Pole of Good Government[edit]

In 1994, the media magnate Silvio Berlusconi, previously very close to the Socialist Prime Minister Bettino Craxi and even having appeared in commercials for the Italian Socialist Party, was studying the possibility of making a political party of his own to avoid what seemed to be the unavoidable victory of the left wing at the next elections. Only three months before the election, he presented his new party, Forza Italia, in a televised announcement on 26 January 1994. Supporters believed that he wanted to avert a communist victory, while opponents believed that he was defending the ancién regime by rebranding it. Regardless of his motives, he employed his power in communication (he owned, and still owns, all of the three main private TV stations in Italy) and advanced communication techniques he and his allies knew very well, as his fortune was largely based on advertisement.

Berlusconi managed to ally himself with both the National Alliance and the Northern League in February 1994, without these being allied with each other. Forza Italia teamed up with the League in the North, where they competed against the National Alliance, and with the National Alliance in the rest of Italy, where the League was not present. This unusual coalition configuration was caused by the deep hate between the League, which wanted to separate Italy and held Rome in deep contempt, and the nationalist post-fascists; on one occasion, Bossi encouraged his supporters to go find National-Alliance supporters "house by house," suggesting a lynching (which, however, did not actually take place).

In the 1994 general election, Berlusconi's coalition won a decisive victory over Occhetto's one, becoming the first center-right coalition to win the general election since the Second World War. In the popular vote, Berlusconi's coalition outpolled the Alliance of Progressives by over 5.1 million votes. Pole of Freedoms won in the main regions of Italy.

Pole for Freedoms[edit]

Pole for Freedoms was formed as a continuation of the Pole of Freedoms and Pole of Good Government coalitions, which had both supported the leadership of Silvio Berlusconi at the 1994 general election: the Pole of Freedom was constituted by Forza Italia and Northern League, the Pole of Good Government by Forza Italia and the National Alliance. After that, Lega Nord left the coalition at the end of 1994, the centre-right was forced to reform itself: in 1995, on the occasion of the regional elections, an organic alliance was formed. In 1996 it was officially named "Pole for Freedoms" and debuted in the 1996 general election; however, it was defeated by the centre-left alliance The Olive Tree, whose leader was Romano Prodi.

House of Freedoms[edit]

Silvio Berlusconi at a PdL rally, 2008.

The House of Freedoms was the successor of the Pole of Freedoms/Pole of Good Government and the Pole for Freedoms.

In the run-up of the 2001 general election, after a six-year spell in opposition, which Berlusconi called "the crossing of the desert", he managed to re-unite the coalition under the "House of Freedoms" banner. According to its leader, the alliance was a "broad democratic arch, composed of the democratic right, namely AN, the great democratic centre, namely Forza Italia, CCD and CDU, and the democratic left represented by the League, the New PSI, and the Italian Republican Party.[14][15]

The CdL won the 2001 general election by a landslide and, consequently, the Berlusconi II Cabinet was formed. In government, FI, whose strongholds included Lombardy as well as Sicily, and the LN, which was active only in the Centre-North, formed the so-called "axis of the North", through the special relationship between three Lombards leaders, Berlusconi, Giulio Tremonti and Umberto Bossi; on the other side of the coalition, AN and the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats (UDC), the party emerged from the merger of the CCD and the CDU in late 2002, became the natural representatives of Southern interests.[16][17][18][19]

In 2003 the CdL was routed in local elections by The Olive Tree and the LN threatened to pull out. Also, the 2004 European Parliament election were disappointing for FI and the coalition as a whole, even though AN, the UDC, and the LN did better than the previous election. As a result, the Berlusconi and FI were weaker within the CdL.

In 2005 the coalition lost heavily in regional elections, losing six of the eight regions it controlled. The defeat was particularly damaging in the South, while the only two regions that the coalition managed to keep, Lombardy and Veneto, were in the North, where the LN was decisive. This led to a government crisis, particularly after the UDC pulled its ministers out. A few days later, the Berlusconi III Cabinet was formed with minor changes from the previous cabinet.

In the 2006 general election the CdL, which had opened its ranks to a number of minor parties, lost to The Olive Tree.

The People of Freedom[edit]

The People of Freedom, launched by Silvio Berlusconi on 18 November 2007, was initially a federation of political parties, notably including Forza Italia and National Alliance, which participated as a joint election list in the 2008 general election.[20] The federation was later transformed into a party during a party congress on 27–29 March 2009. The UDC, now UdC, left the centre-right coalition and made an alliance with The Rose for Italy, the Populars and other centrist parties. UdC later joined the New Pole for Italy in 2010 and With Monti for Italy in 2012.

The PdL formed Italy's government from 2008 to 2011 in coalition with the Northern League. In 2010 the Future and Freedom (FLI) movement, led by the former MSI/AN leader Gianfranco Fini, split from PdL. FLI joined UdC and other parties to form the New Pole for Italy, but they kept supporting the government.

After Berlusconi's resignation during the European debt crisis, the PdL supported Mario Monti's technocratic government in 2011–2012, and after the 2013 general election, it became part of Enrico Letta's government of grand coalition with the Democratic Party, Civic Choice and the Union of the Centre. Angelino Alfano, then party's secretary, functioned as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior.

Centre-right coalitions since 2013[edit]

In June 2013 Berlusconi announced Forza Italia's revival and the PdL's transformation into a centre-right coalition.[21][22] On 16 November 2013 the PdL's national council voted to dissolve the party and start a new Forza Italia; the assembly was deserted by a group of dissidents, led by Alfano, who had launched the alternative New Centre-Right party the day before.[23]

After the 2016 constitutional referendum, UdC left the centre-left coalition and approached the centre-right coalition again. In 2017 Civic Choice also joined the centre-right coalition. UdC and Civic Choice ran with the centre-right coalition in the 2017 Sicilian regional election.

Following the 2018 general election, the centre-right coalition, led by Matteo Salvini's League, emerged with a plurality of seats in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate, while the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) led by Luigi Di Maio became the party with the largest number of votes. The centre-left coalition, led by former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, came third.[24][25] However, no political group or party won an outright majority, resulting in a hung parliament.[26]

After three months of negotiation, a coalition was finally formed on 1 June between the M5S and the League, whose leaders both became Deputy Prime Ministers in a government led by the M5S-linked independent Giuseppe Conte as Prime Minister. This coalition lasted until September 2019.

Following the 2021 Italian government crisis, the previous government was replaced by a national unity government in February 2021, including League and Forza Italia along with M5S, the Democratic Party, Article One and Italia Viva.

Composition[edit]

1994 general election[edit]

In the 1994 general election, the centre-right coalition ran under the name of Pole of Freedoms in northern Italy, including the Northern League and leaving out National Alliance, which instead ran alone. In central Italy and southern Italy, where the Northern League wasn't present, the coalition ran instead under the name of Pole of Good Government, including also National Alliance.

The Pole of Freedoms was composed of four parties:

Party Ideology Leader
Forza Italia (FI) Liberal conservatism Silvio Berlusconi
Northern League (LN) Regionalism Umberto Bossi
Christian Democratic Centre (CCD) Christian democracy Pier Ferdinando Casini
Union of the Centre (UdC) Liberalism Raffaele Costa

The Pole of Good Government was instead composed of six parties:

Party Ideology Leader
Forza Italia (FI) Liberal conservatism Silvio Berlusconi
National Alliance (AN)[a] National conservatism Gianfranco Fini
Christian Democratic Centre (CCD) Christian democracy Pier Ferdinando Casini
Union of the Centre (UdC) Liberalism Raffaele Costa
Liberal Democratic Pole (PLD) Liberalism Adriano Teso
  1. ^ Including also the Italian Liberal Right.

1996 general election[edit]

In the 1996 general election, the Pole for Freedoms was composed of the following parties:

Party Ideology Leader
Forza Italia (FI)[a] Liberal conservatism Silvio Berlusconi
National Alliance (AN)[b] National conservatism Gianfranco Fini
Christian Democratic Centre (CCD)[c] Christian democracy Pier Ferdinando Casini
United Christian Democrats (CDU)[c] Christian democracy Rocco Buttiglione
Federalist Party (PF) Federalism Gianfranco Miglio
  1. ^ Including also the List for Trieste, the Liberal Democratic Foundation and the Union of the Centre.
  2. ^ Including also the Italian Liberal Right.
  3. ^ a b The two parties contested the election in a joint list, including also the Federalist Greens.

The coalition made an agreement of desistance with the Pannella–Sgarbi List in some constituencies.

2001 general election[edit]

In the 2001 general election, the House of Freedoms was composed of seven parties:

Party Ideology Leader
Forza Italia (FI)[a] Liberal conservatism Silvio Berlusconi
National Alliance (AN)[b] National conservatism Gianfranco Fini
Northern League (LN)[c] Regionalism Umberto Bossi
Christian Democratic Centre (CCD)[d] Christian democracy Pier Ferdinando Casini
United Christian Democrats (CDU)[d] Christian democracy Rocco Buttiglione
New Italian Socialist Party (NPSI) Social democracy Gianni De Michelis
Scorporo Abolition (AS)[e] Single-issue politics None
  1. ^ Including also the Italian Republican Party, the Christian Democratic Party, the Christian Democrats for Freedom, the List for Trieste and The Liberals Sgarbi.[27]
  2. ^ Including also the Liberal Right – Liberals for Italy.
  3. ^ Including also the Trentino Tyrolean Autonomist Party and the Lega Sud Ausonia.
  4. ^ a b The two parties contested the election in a joint list informally called White Flower, including also the Federalist Greens.
  5. ^ Scorporo Abolition was a lista civetta.

The coalition presented a candidate a member of the Sardinian Reformers in Sardinia. It also made an agreement of desistance with the Tricolour Flame in one constituency in Sicily.

2006 general election[edit]

In the 2006 general election, the House of Freedoms was composed of the following parties:

Party Ideology Leader
Forza Italia (FI) Liberal conservatism Silvio Berlusconi
National Alliance (AN) National conservatism Gianfranco Fini
Union of Christian and Centre Democrats (UDC)[a] Christian democracy Pier Ferdinando Casini
Northern League (LN)[b] Regionalism Umberto Bossi
Movement for Autonomy (MpA)[b] Regionalism Raffaele Lombardo
Christian Democracy for the Autonomies (DCA)[c] Christian democracy Gianfranco Rotondi
New Italian Socialist Party (NPSI)[c] Social democracy Gianni De Michelis
Social Alternative (AS)[d] Neo-fascism Alessandra Mussolini
Tricolour Flame (FT)[e] Neo-fascism Luca Romagnoli
No Euro Movement (MNE) Euroscepticism Renzo Rabellino
United Pensioners (PU) Pensioners' interests Filippo De Jorio
Democratic Ecologists (ED)[f] Green liberalism Laura Scalabrini
Italian Liberal Party (PLI) Liberalism Stefano De Luca
S.O.S. Italy (SOS) Consumer protection Diego Volpe Pasini
Italian Republican Party (PRI)[g] Liberalism Francesco Nucara
New Sicily (NS)[h] Regionalism Bartolo Pellegrino
Pact for Sicily (PpS)[h] Regionalism Nicolò Nicolosi
Extended Christian Pact (PACE) Christian democracy Gilberto Perri
Liberal Reformers (RL)[g] Liberalism Benedetto Della Vedova
For Italy in the World[i] Interests of Italians abroad Mirko Tremaglia
  1. ^ The list included also the Sardinian Reformers.
  2. ^ a b The two parties formed a joint list. The list included also the Sardinian Action Party.
  3. ^ a b DCA and NPSI contested the election in a joint list that included also the Autonomist People's Union.
  4. ^ List composed of Social Action, New Force and the National Front.
  5. ^ Including CasaPound.[28]
  6. ^ Including the Greens Greens.
  7. ^ a b The party also presented some of its candidates in Forza Italia's lists.
  8. ^ a b The party ran only in Sicily.
  9. ^ The party ran only in the overseas constituencies.

The House of Freedoms was also supported by Unitalia, by Italy Again and by the National Democratic Party.

2008 general election[edit]

Berlusconi launched The People of Freedom in late 2007; this was joined by FI, AN and minor parties,[29] and continued its alliance with the LN.[30] In the 2008 general election, the coalition was composed of three parties:

Party Ideology Leader
The People of Freedom (PdL)[a] Liberal conservatism Silvio Berlusconi
Northern League (LN)[b] Regionalism Umberto Bossi
Movement for Autonomy (MpA)[c] Regionalism Raffaele Lombardo
  1. ^ The list, which would be transformed into a party in 2009, included Forza Italia, National Alliance, the Liberal Populars, Christian Democracy for the Autonomies, the New Italian Socialist Party, the Italian Republican Party, the Liberal Reformers, the Pensioners' Party, the Liberal Democrats, Federation of Christian Populars,[31] Decide!, Italians in the World, Social Action (formerly part of Social Alternative), the Libertarian Right, the Reformist Socialists and Fortza Paris. Not all of these parties would be officially merged into a joint party in 2009. The PdL was also supported by Christian Democracy, after being excluded by the Ministry of the Interior from the electoral competition because of the similarity of its symbol with that of the UDC and the Italian Democratic Socialist Party in Lombardy. The Sardinian Reformers tried to form an alliance, but talks failed. Also the Union of the Centre refused to join forces[32][33][34] (and was joined by the Sardinian Reformers).
  2. ^ Including also the Federalist Alliance.
  3. ^ The party was based in Sicily, but fielded lists everywhere the LN was not present. It included minor parties, like Third Pole[35] and the Southern Action League, and was supported by the Italian Democratic Socialist Party in Sicily.

2013 general election[edit]

In the 2013 general election, the coalition was composed of the following parties:[36]

Party Ideology Leader
The People of Freedom[a] (PdL) Liberal conservatism Silvio Berlusconi
Northern League[b] (LN) Regionalism Roberto Maroni
Brothers of Italy (FdI) National conservatism Giorgia Meloni
The Right (LD) National conservatism Francesco Storace
Great South (GS)[c] Regionalism Gianfranco Micciché
Moderates in Revolution (MIR) Liberal conservatism Gianpiero Samorì
Pensioners' Party (PP) Pensioners' interests Carlo Fatuzzo
Popular Agreement (IP)[d] Christian democracy Giampiero Catone
Enough taxes! (BT)[43][44] Anti-tax Luciano Garatti
Party of SiciliansMPA (PdS–MPA)[c] Regionalism Raffaele Lombardo
Free for a Fair Italy (LIE)[45][46][e] Liberalism Angelo Pisani
  1. ^ The list was supported by the Italian Democratic Socialist Party and the Christian Democratic Party[37] and included the Union of Democrats for Europe,[38][39] the New Italian Socialist Party, Christian Democracy, Cantiere Popolare, the Movement for the Autonomies, Fortza Paris (see below) and the Federation of Christian Populars.[40]
  2. ^ The list included the Labour and Freedom List and was supported by Fassa Association.[41]
  3. ^ a b GS and MpA contested the election in a joint list for the Chamber and in separate lists for the Senate.
  4. ^ Including Social Justice[42] and Christian Democracy.
  5. ^ The party contested only in Campania.

2018 general election[edit]

In the 2018 general election, the coalition was composed of five parties:

Party Ideology Leader
League (Lega)[a] Right-wing populism Matteo Salvini
Forza Italia (FI)[b] Liberal conservatism Silvio Berlusconi
Brothers of Italy (FdI)[c] National conservatism Giorgia Meloni
Us with Italy (NcI)[d][e] Liberal conservatism Raffaele Fitto
Union of the Centre (UdC)[e] Christian democracy Lorenzo Cesa

2022 general election[edit]

For the 2022 general election the coalition is composed of four parties:[57]

Party Ideology Leader
Brothers of Italy (FdI)[a] National conservatism Giorgia Meloni
League (Lega)[b] Right-wing populism Matteo Salvini
Forza Italia (FI)[c] Liberal conservatism Silvio Berlusconi
Us Moderates (NM)[d] Christian democracy Maurizio Lupi
  1. ^ Including also Green is Popular, Human Value Party[58] and Diventerà Bellissima.
  2. ^ Including also Sardinian Action Party, Italian Liberal Right and Fassa Association.
  3. ^ Including also New Italian Socialist Party and Animalist Movement; supported by the Italian Liberal Party.
  4. ^ Including also Us with Italy (NcI), Italy in the Centre (IaC), Cambiamo! (C!), Coraggio Italia (CI), Union of the Centre (UdC), Vinciamo Italia (VI), Identity and Action (IDeA), Cantiere Popolare (CP), Popular Liguria (LP) and Party of Europeans and Liberals (PEL).

The coalition was also supported by Social Democratic Rebirth[citation needed].

Popular support[edit]

Electoral results[edit]

Italian Parliament[edit]

Chamber of Deputies
Election year Votes % Seats +/− Leader
1994 17,947,445 (1st) 46.4
366 / 630
1996 16,475,191 (2nd) 43.2
246 / 630
Decrease 120
2001 18,569,126 (1st) 50.0
368 / 630
Increase 122
2006 18,995,697 (2nd) 49.7
281 / 630
Decrease 87
2008 17,064,506 (1st) 46.8
344 / 630
Increase 43
2013 9,923,109 (2nd) 29.2
126 / 630
Decrease 218
2018 12,152,345 (1st) 37.0
265 / 630
Increase 139
2022 12.300.244 (1st) 43.7%
237 / 400
Decrease 28
Senate of the Republic
Election year Votes % Seats +/− Leader
1994 14,110,705 (1st) 42.5
156 / 315
1996 12,694,846 (2nd) 38,9
117 / 315
Decrease 39
2001 17,255,734 (1st) 50.4
176 / 315
Increase 60
2006 17,359,754 (1st) 49.8
156 / 315
Decrease 20
2008 15,508,899 (1st) 47.3
174 / 315
Increase 18
2013 9,405,679 (2nd) 30.7
118 / 315
Decrease 56
2018 11,327,549 (1st) 37.5
135 / 315
Increase 17
2022 12.129.547 (1st) 44.0%
115 / 200
Decrease 20
  1. ^ a b c d Under the current agreement of the centre-right coalition, the leader of the party that wins the most votes within the coalition becomes the candidate for Prime Minister.

Regional Councils[edit]

Region Election year Votes % Seats +/−
Aosta Valley[a] 2020 19,598 29.6
11 / 35
Increase 4
Piedmont 2019 1,027,886 (1st) 53.5
33 / 51
Increase 11
Lombardy 2018 2,686,610 (1st) 51.3
49 / 80
Steady
South Tyrol[a] 2018 39,218 14.0
5 / 35
Increase 3
Trentino 2018 120,906 (1st) 47.4
21 / 35
Increase 11
Veneto 2020 1,582,405 (1st) 77.0
42 / 51
Increase 11
Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2018 264,769 (1st) 62.7
29 / 49
Increase 12
Emilia-Romagna 2020 981,787 (2nd) 45.4
19 / 50
Increase 7
Liguria 2020 354,111 (1st) 56.5
19 / 31
Increase 3
Tuscany 2020 659,058 (2nd) 40.6
14 / 41
Increase 5
Marche 2020 325,140 (1st) 52.1
20 / 31
Increase 13
Umbria 2019 245,879 (1st) 58.8
13 / 21
Increase 7
Lazio 2018 922,664 (1st) 36.4
15 / 50
Increase 1
Abruzzo 2019 294,879 (1st) 49.2
18 / 31
Increase 11
Molise 2018 71,677 (1st) 49.3
13 / 21
Increase 7
Campania 2020 450,856 (2nd) 19.1
11 / 51
Decrease 2
Apulia 2020 694,536 (2nd) 41.4
18 / 51
Increase 5
Basilicata 2019 122,548 (1st) 42.4
13 / 21
Increase 8
Calabria 2021 424,666 (1st) 55.7
21 / 31
Steady
Sicily 2022 887,215 (1st) 42.0
40 / 70
Increase 4
Sardinia 2019 370,354 (1st) 51.9
36 / 60
Increase 12
  1. ^ a b In South Tyrol and Aosta Valley the centre-right coalition ran divided.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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