Populism without host ideologies: A new home for voters with exclusionary attitudes in Italy’s Five Star Movement?

Antonio Benasaglio Berlucchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Five Star Movement (M5S) emerged as Italy’s largest party in the 2018 election. After one year in government with the far-right League, the party formed a new coalition with the center-left Democratic Party (PD). These unconventional alliances and the M5S’s ambiguity on substantive issues such as immigration and minority rights raise questions on the value positioning of its voters. Does the M5S represent a socially liberal electorate, or has the party become a new home for voters expressing sentiments of hostility toward immigrants and minorities? I hypothesize that the M5S’s ambivalence on social issues enabled the party to attract a significant share of voters with exclusionary attitudes toward foreigners and minorities. I use survey data to measure individuals’ dispositions toward outgroups and run binary and multinomial logistic regressions to predict vote choice for the M5S and the other main parties in the 2018 election. The empirical findings suggest that the M5S has become a valid option for voters adhering to exclusionary attitudes, and show that there is no particular elective affinity between the voters of the M5S and the PD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalParty Politics
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • exclusionary attitudes
  • Five Star Movement
  • ideology
  • populism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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