Berlusconi's 2018 power bid with party coalition

Berlusconi and Salvini

ROME - The President of Lombardy, Roberto Maroni of the Northern League, plans to leave his position in order to return to Rome as a centre-right minister, making room for the consolidation of the centre-right behind Berlusconi for the 2018 general election, it was revealed in the centre-right Arcore summit.

 The summit has shown that the centre-right is willing to pull together in order to be fighting ready for the upcoming election. In what appears to be a swift and decisive power move, the announcement of a four part coalition between Forza Italia, Northern League, Brothers of Italy, and Forth Pole will leave the centre-right more unified than ever in the vacuum left by Maroni.

 The coalition is broadly unified on the key points of, in the words of the Northern League’s secretary, Matteo Salvini, ‘less taxes, less bureaucracy, and less constraints from Europe,’ aided by the Brothers of Italy originating as a splinter of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia.

 Difficulty seems inevitable given Berlusconi’s attempts to appeal to voters in poorer regions, exemplified by his campaigning on behalf of his party’s candidate in Sicily at the end of last year, and the Northern League’s desire to keep the wealth in the economic powerhouse, located across the northern regions. This contradiction is exacerbated by the coalition being based centrally around Forza Italia and the Northern League.

 Based on figures from Youtrend the current figures are: Forza Italia, 15.8 percent; Northern League, 13.7 percent; Brothers of Italy, 5.1 percent; with Fourth Pole as a minor addition. All in all, the coalition could easily exceed 40 percent and possibly outperform MS5, currently in the lead with 27 percent.

 The result of this coalition’s success may well be a return of Berlusconi to the top office. Late last year saw Berlusconi’s first hearing with the European Court of Human Rights concerning his attempt to overturn his ban from holding political office due to his criminal record. If all goes well for the 81 year-old, Italy may be in for a blast from the past.