The Fluctuating Fortunes of the Lega Nord

Authored by: Anna Cento Bull

The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Italy

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415604178
eBook ISBN: 9781315709970
Adobe ISBN: 9781317487555

10.4324/9781315709970.ch17

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Abstract

In February 2013 the Lega Nord lost half of its electorate compared with the 2008 elections, gaining 1,390,156 votes or 4.1 per cent of the total of votes cast, as against 3,026,844 or 8.3 per cent in 2008. Already in 2011–12 the party had witnessed a series of setbacks at the polls and was rocked by a major financial scandal involving links to the Calabrian Mafia, which struck at the heart of Umberto Bossi’s leadership, forcing him to resign as general secretary. These crucial two years also marked the fall of the fourth Berlusconi government and its replacement by a technocratic government headed by former EU commissioner Mario Monti, in what is widely considered as the dissolution of the political and party system – generally known as the Second Republic – that in the early 1990s had succeeded the First Republic, itself marred by a major financial scandal. Twenty years later, history appears to have repeated itself, this time engulfing, in an ironic twist of events, the very party that in 1992 had been at the forefront of the protest against systematic corrupt deals between business and politics, often involving criminal organizations.

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