Italy: Five Star Movement Faces Split as Members Consider Defecting to Salvini’s League


Some members of the Five Star Movement could break away from the party, choosing instead to support populist League leader Matteo Salvini, according to reports.

As Italy faces new elections following calls from Matteo Salvini last week over disagreements between his party and his coalition partners in the Five Star Movement (M5S), Italian newspaper Il Giornale has claimed that some M5S members may leave the movement to join the populist leader.

The newspaper states that several members of the party linked to its leader Luigi Di Maio and Minister of Justice Alfonso Bonafede are backing Salvini, calling the group more akin to Christian Democrats than the progressive wing of the movement led by Roberto Fico.

While there are many in the Five Stars who have vocally resisted Salvini’s policies in the past, such as the security and migration decree, others, including M5S founder Beppe Grillo, have praised the interior minister.

Last year Grillo addressed a crowd during a live performance at the Anfiteatro dell’Anima theatre and called Salvini a man who “does things for real”.

Earlier this week, Grillo said he would prefer the M5S govern and form a new government following new elections but some in the movement have called on a potential alliance with the left-wing Democratic Party (PD), citing the disastrous results of the European elections.

The results for the party, which scored just 17 per cent and came in third place, nearly forced Di Maio to resign as the leader, but party members voted to keep him in his position.

Current polling trends show Salvini’s League (Lega) could score as much as 40 per cent of the vote in a new election, increasing their seats to the point in which they may be able to govern the country alone and become one of the most popular political parties in post-war Italian history.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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