This is a list of political parties in Italy since Italian unification in 1861.

Throughout history, numerous political parties have been operating in Italy. Since World War II no party has ever gained enough support to govern alone; thus, parties form political alliances and coalition governments.

In the 2022 general election, four groupings obtained most of the votes and most of the seats in the two houses of the Italian Parliament: the "centre-right coalition" composed of the Brothers of Italy, Lega, Forza Italia and minor allies; the "centre-left coalition" composed of the Democratic Party and minor allies; the populist Five Star Movement; and the liberal Action – Italia Viva (also known as "Third Pole").

Coalitions of parties for regional elections can be slightly different from those for general elections, due to different regional conditions (for instance, in some regions the Democratic Party and the Five Star Movement are in coalition, but not in others; same for the Democratic Party and the Third Pole) and the presence of several regional parties, some of which active only at regional level.

History

The first modern political party in Italy was the Italian Socialist Party, established in 1892.[1] Until then, the main political groupings of the country, the Historical Right and the Historical Left, were not classifiable as parties, but as simple groups of notables, each with their own electoral fiefdom, that joined together according to their own ideas.[2] From time to time, in the context of the Historical Far Left, other parties emerged: the Italian Republican Party, established in 1895,[3] and the Italian Radical Party, established in 1904.[4]

The Italian Socialist Party envisaged itself as a mass party, a form of party that would dominate throughout the 20th century. It was followed a few years later by the Italian People's Party, established in 1919. Both parties achieved electoral success until the advent of fascism, contributing decisively to the loss of strength and authority of the old liberal ruling class, which had not been able to structure itself into a proper party: the Liberal Union, launched in 1913, was not a coherent one and the Italian Liberal Party, formed in 1922, came too late. The beginning of 1921 saw the foundation of the Communist Party of Italy, born from a split of the Italian Socialist Party. Also in 1921, Benito Mussolini gave birth to the National Fascist Party, and the next year, through the March on Rome, he was appointed Prime Minister. In 1926, through the so-called leggi fascistissime (lit.'very fascist laws'), all parties were dissolved except the National Fascist Party, which thus remained the only legal party in the Kingdom of Italy until the fall of the regime in July 1943. Meanwhile, following the dissolution of the Comintern in May 1943, the Communist Party of Italy was rebranded Italian Communist Party. The following September, six anti-fascist parties – the Christian Democracy, the Italian Socialist Party, the Italian Communist Party, the Italian Liberal Party, the Action Party and the Labour Democratic Party — formed the joint National Liberation Committee, which gained official recognition as the representative of the Italian resistance movement (the Committee recognised the monarchy, thus the Italian Republican Party stayed out because of its full loyalty to republican principles). The parties of the Committee then formed, in various combinations, the governments of Italy from the liberation of Rome in 1944 until 1947, when the Socialists and the Communists were ejected.

In 1946, through a referendum, Italy became a republic and a Constituent Assembly wrote the republican Constitution. Between 1948 and 1992, the party system was dominated by two major parties: the Christian Democracy, the structural party of government, and the Italian Communist Party, the main opposition party.[5] Another stable opposition party was the post-fascist Italian Social Movement. For about half a century, following a so-called conventio ad excludendum of the Italian Communist Party,[6] the governments were led by the Christian Democracy, that chose its coalition partners among smaller parties situated either to its left or right: the Italian Socialist Party, the Italian Democratic Socialist Party, the Italian Liberal Party and the Italian Republican Party.[7] Between 1981 and 1991, the Christian Democrats formed coalition governments named Pentapartito with all four of them.[8] That was the time when several northern regional parties, whose policy themes were federalism and autonomism, were established. In 1991 they federated themselves into Lega Nord, which became the country's fourth largest party in the 1992 general election.[9]

Between 1992 and 1994, the established party system was shaken by a series of corruption scandals known collectively as Tangentopoli. These events led to the disappearance of the five parties of government.[10] Consequently, the Italian Communist Party, which had evolved to become the Democratic Party of the Left in 1991, with the exit of the Communist Refoundation Party, and the post-fascists, who had launched National Alliance in 1994, gained strength. On the contrary, the Christian Democracy, which changed its name to Italian People's Party in 1994, lost its centrality in the Italian party system. Following the 1994 general election, media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi became Prime Minister at the head of a government composed mainly of his brand-new Forza Italia party, joined by several members of the defunct mainstream parties, National Alliance and Lega Nord.[11]

Between 1996 and 2008, the political parties were organised into two big coalitions, which took turns in government: the centre-right Pole for Freedoms, which was renamed House of Freedoms after the re-entry of Lega Nord in 2000, and The Olive Tree, lately part of a broader coalition named The Union, on the centre-left.[12] As for the centre-left, the Democratic Party of the Left changed its name again in 1998, becoming Democrats of the Left,[13] while in 2002 a new party called Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy was founded by the merger of some centrist parties (including the Italian People's Party). In 2008, following the fall of the centre-left government led by Romano Prodi, the Democratic Party (established in 2007 upon the merger of the Democrats of the Left and The Daisy) decided to break the alliance with the Communist Refoundation Party and other minor left-wing parties. Contextually, on the centre-right of the political spectrum, Forza Italia and National Alliance merged to form The People of Freedom,[14] which continued the alliance with Lega Nord and prevailed in the 2008 general election.[15]

In the 2013 general election, the party system was fragmented in four groupings: the centre-left alliance led by the Democratic Party; the traditional centre-right alliance between the People of Freedom, Lega Nord and the newly-founded Brothers of Italy (a right-wing split of the People of Freedom, formed mainly by former members of National Alliance); Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement; and a new centrist coalition around the outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti's Civic Choice party.[16] In November 2013, the national council of People of Freedom, at the behest of Berlusconi, suspended all party activities, to relaunch Forza Italia,[17] which would experience multiple splits. In the 2018 general election, the major groupings were reduced to three: the centre-right coalition, composed of Lega (Lega Nord's evolution on a countrywide scale), Forza Italia, Brothers of Italy and minor allies; the Five Star Movement (which was the single most voted party); and the centre-left coalition, composed of the Democratic Party and minor allies.[18] The centre-right coalition won a full majority in the 2022 general election, leading to a government led by Brothers of Italy's leader Giorgia Meloni (the first since 2008 to be formed by a coalition of parties having fought the election together), while the opposition was fragmented in three segments: the Democratic Party-led centre-left coalition; the Five Star Movement; and a centrist alliance between Action and Italia Viva (both splinter groups of the Democratic Party).

Active parties

Parties represented in the Italian or European Parliament

Party Founded Ideology Leader Deputies Senators MEPs Associate parties
Brothers of Italy
Fratelli d'Italia
2012 National conservatism
Right-wing populism
Giorgia Meloni
118 / 400
66 / 200
9 / 76
DB
Democratic Party
Partito Democratico
2007 Social democracy Elly Schlein
69 / 400
38 / 200
15 / 76
DemoS
CD
CpE
Lega[a] 2017 Right-wing populism
Conservatism
Matteo Salvini
66 / 400
29 / 200
23 / 76
Fassa
DLI
Five Star Movement
Movimento 5 Stelle
2009 Populism
Green politics
Giuseppe Conte
52 / 400
28 / 200
6 / 76
Forza Italia 2013 Liberal conservatism
Christian democracy
Antonio Tajani
45 / 400
17 / 200
11 / 76
NPSI
Action
Azione
2019 Liberalism Carlo Calenda
10 / 400[b]
4 / 200[b]
1 / 76[b]
Italia Viva 2019 Liberalism Matteo Renzi
9 / 400[b]
7 / 200[b]
1 / 76[b]
Green Europe
Europa Verde
2021 Green politics Angelo Bonelli
6 / 400[c]
1 / 200[c]
0 / 76
Italian Left
Sinistra Italiana
2017 Democratic socialism
Eco-socialism
Nicola Fratoianni
4 / 400[c]
3 / 200[c]
0 / 76
South Tyrolean People's Party[d]
Südtiroler Volkspartei
1945 Regionalism
German-speaking minority interests
Philipp Achammer
3 / 400
2 / 200
1 / 76
Us with Italy
Noi con l'Italia
2017 Liberal conservatism
Christian democracy
Maurizio Lupi
3 / 400[e]
0 / 200
0 / 76
CP
More Europe
+Europa
2017 Liberalism
Pro-Europeanism
Emma Bonino
3 / 400
0 / 200
0 / 76
RI
FE
Italy in the Centre
Italia al Centro
2022 Liberal conservatism Giovanni Toti
2 / 400[e]
0 / 200
0 / 76
C!
Populars Europeanists Reformers
Popolari Europeisti Riformatori
2023 Christian democracy Elena Bonetti
2 / 400[b]
0 / 200
0 / 76
Associative Movement of Italians Abroad
Movimento Associativo Italiani all'Estero
2008 Italians abroad interests Ricardo Antonio Merlo
1 / 400
1 / 200
0 / 76
Coraggio Italia 2021 Liberal conservatism Luigi Brugnaro
1 / 400[e]
1 / 200[e]
0 / 76
Union of the Centre
Unione di Centro
2002 Christian democracy
Social conservatism
Lorenzo Cesa
1 / 400[e]
1 / 200[e]
0 / 76
South calls North
Sud chiama Nord
2022 Regionalism
Populism
Cateno De Luca
1 / 400
0 / 200
0 / 76
Animalist Movement
Movimento Animalista
2017 Animal rights Michela Vittoria Brambilla
1 / 400
0 / 200
0 / 76
Progressive Party[f]
Partito Progressista
2017 Progressivism Massimo Zedda
1 / 400[c]
0 / 200
0 / 76
Valdostan Union[g]
Union Valdôtaine
1945 Regionalism
French-speaking minority interests
Cristina Machet
1 / 400
0 / 200
0 / 76
Campobase[h] 2022 Regionalism Micheal Rech
0 / 400
1 / 200
0 / 76
August 24th Movement
Movimento 24 Agosto
2019 Regionalism Piernicola Pedicini
0 / 400
0 / 200
1 / 76
Christian Democracy
Democrazia Cristiana
2012 Christian democracy Renato Grassi
0 / 400
0 / 200
1 / 76
Notes
  1. ^ In 2020 the Lega politically replaced the Lega Nord, a federalist party established in 1991 and still legally active. The Lega is a confederal party, composed of 22 territorial divisions, some of which were autonomous parties before joining the Lega Nord: Liga Veneta, Lega Lombarda, Lega Piemonte, Lega Vallée d'Aoste, Lega Trentino, Lega Alto Adige Südtirol, Lega Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lega Emilia, Lega Romagna, Lega Liguria, Lega Toscana, Lega Marche, Lega Umbria, Lega Lazio, Lega Molise, Lega Campania, Lega Puglia, Lega Basilicata, Lega Calabria, Lega Sicilia and Lega Sardegna. The southern divisions of the party were originally organized into Us with Salvini in 2014 and later incorporated into the Lega in 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Within Action – Italia Viva.
  3. ^ a b c d e Within Greens and Left Alliance.
  4. ^ Active only in South Tyrol.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Within Us Moderates
  6. ^ Active only in Sardinia.
  7. ^ Active only in Aosta Valley.
  8. ^ Active only in Trentino.

Parties represented within other parties in the Italian or European Parliament

Party Founded Ideology Leader Deputies Senators MEPs Affiliation
Cambiamo! 2019 Liberal conservatism Giovanni Toti
2 / 400
0 / 200
0 / 76
IaC
Solidary Democracy
Democrazia Solidale
2014 Christian left Paolo Ciani
1 / 400
0 / 200
1 / 76
PD
Cantiere Popolare[a] 2012 Christian democracy
Regionalism
Francesco Saverio Romano
1 / 400
0 / 200
0 / 76
NcI
Democratic Centre
Centro Democratico
2012 Christian left
Social liberalism
Bruno Tabacci
1 / 400
0 / 200
0 / 76
PD
Italian Radicals
Radicali Italiani
2001 Liberalism
Libertarianism
Massimiliano Iervolino
1 / 400
0 / 200
0 / 76
+E
New Italian Socialist Party
Nuovo Partito Socialista Italiano
2001 Social democracy
Liberalism
Stefano Caldoro
1 / 400
0 / 200
0 / 76
FI
Centrists for Europe
Centristi per l'Europa
2017 Christian democracy
Pro-Europeanism
Pier Ferdinando Casini
0 / 400
1 / 200
0 / 76
PD
Italian Liberal Right
Destra Liberale Italiana
2019 Conservative liberalism
National liberalism
Cinzia Bonfrisco
0 / 400
0 / 200
1 / 76
Lega
Fassa Association[b]
Associazione Fassa
2008 Ladin-speaking minority interests
Christian democracy
Luca Guglielmi
0 / 400
1 / 200
0 / 76
Lega
Diventerà Bellissima[a] 2014 Regionalism
Conservatism
Nello Musumeci
0 / 400
1 / 200
0 / 76
FdI
Notes
  1. ^ a b Active only in Sicily.
  2. ^ Active only in the Fassa Valley.

Parties represented only in Regional Councils

Countrywide parties

Party Founded Ideology Leader Regional Council
Identity and Action
Identità e Azione
2015 Liberal conservatism
Christian democracy
Gaetano Quagliariello Basilicata
Italian Socialist Party
Partito Socialista Italiano
2007 Social democracy Enzo Maraio Campania
Moderates
Moderati
2005 Liberalism Giacomo Portas Piedmont
Populars for Italy
Popolari per l'Italia
2014 Christian democracy
Liberal conservatism
Mario Mauro Molise
Possible
Possibile
2015 Social democracy
Green politics
Beatrice Brignone Sardinia
Us of the Centre
Noi di Centro
2021 Christian democracy Clemente Mastella Campania
Vita 2022 Populism
Anti-establishment
Sara Cunial Trentino-Alto Adige

Regional parties

Party Founded Ideology Leader Regional Council
Civic Network
Rete Civica
2019 Regionalism Fabio Protasoni Aosta Valley
Edelweiss
Stella Alpina
2001 Regionalism
Christian democracy
Carlo Marzi Aosta Valley
For Our Valley
Pour Notre Vallée
2019 Regionalism
French-speaking minority interests
Fabio Gradi Aosta Valley
For Autonomy
Pour l'autonomie
2020 Regionalism
French-speaking minority interests
Augusto Rollandin Aosta Valley
Mouv' 2017 Regionalism Damien Charrance Aosta Valley
Valdostan Alliance
Alliance Valdôtaine
2019 Regionalism
Progressivism
Albert Chatrian Aosta Valley
Autonomy House
Casa Autonomia.eu
2022 Regionalism
Christian democracy
Paola Demagri
Michele Dallapiccola
Trentino-Alto Adige
Die Freiheitlichen 1992 Separatism
German-speaking minority interests
Andreas Leiter Reber Trentino-Alto Adige
For South Tyrol with Widmann
Für Südtirol mit Widmann
2023 Regionalism
Christian democracy
Thomas Widmann Trentino-Alto Adige
Futura Trentino 2018 Regionalism
Social democracy
Nicola Serra Trentino-Alto Adige
Greens
VerdiGrüneVërc
1978 Green politics Felix Wohlgemuth
Marlene Pernstich
Trentino-Alto Adige
JWA List
JWA Liste
2023 Separatism
Right-wing populism
Jürgen Wirth Anderlan Trentino-Alto Adige
The Civic List 2019 Regionalism Mattia Gottardi Trentino-Alto Adige
Popular Autonomists
Autonomisti Popolari
2017 Regionalism
Christian democracy
Walter Kaswalder Trentino-Alto Adige
South Tyrolean Freedom
Süd-Tiroler Freiheit
2007 Separatism
German-speaking minority interests
Eva Klotz Trentino-Alto Adige
Team K 2018 Regionalism
Liberalism
Paul Köllensperger Trentino-Alto Adige
Trentino Project
Progetto Trentino
2008 Regionalism
Christian democracy
Marino Simoni Trentino-Alto Adige
Trentino Tyrolean Autonomist Party
Partito Autonomista Trentino Tirolese
1988 Regionalism
Christian democracy
Simone Marchiori Trentino-Alto Adige
Liga Veneta Repubblica 1998 Regionalism
Venetian nationalism
Fabrizio Comencini Veneto
FVG Project
Progetto FVG
2018 Regionalism Sergio Bini Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Pact for Autonomy
Patto per l'Autonomia
2015 Regionalism Sergio Cecotti Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Slovene Union
Slovenska Skupnost
1963 Slovene-speaking minority interests Peter Močnik Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Political Action
Azione Politica
2017 Regionalism
Liberalism
Gianluca Zelli Abruzzo
Building Democracy
Costruire Democrazia
2009 Regionalism Massimo Romano Molise
Italy is Popular
L'Italia è Popolare
2017 Christian democracy Giuseppe De Mita Campania
Popular Apulia
Puglia Popolare
2017 Regionalism
Christian democracy
Massimo Cassano Apulia
Christian Democracy Sicily
Democrazia Cristiana Sicilia
2020 Christian democracy Salvatore Cuffaro Sicily
Movement for Autonomy
Movimento per l'Autonomia
2005 Regionalism
Christian democracy
Raffaele Lombardo Sicily
Civic Sardinia
Sardegna Civica
2018 Regionalism Franco Cuccureddu Sardinia
Sardinia 20Twenty
Sardegna 20Venti
2013 Regionalism Stefano Tunis Sardinia
Sardinian Action Party
Partito Sardo d'Azione
1921 Regionalism
Sardinian nationalism
Christian Solinas Sardinia
Sardinian Reformers
Riformatori Sardi
1993 Regionalism
Liberal conservatism
Michele Cossa Sardinia
Union of Sardinians
Unione dei Sardi
1998 Regionalism
Christian democracy
Mario Floris Sardinia

Non-represented parties

Countrywide parties

Regional and local parties

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f Active only in the Southern Italy.
  2. ^ a b c d e Active only in Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
  3. ^ Active only in Campania.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Active only in Sardinia.
  5. ^ a b c d e Active only in Sicily.
  6. ^ a b Active only in the Northern Italy.
  7. ^ Active only in Piedmont.
  8. ^ a b Active only in Calabria.
  9. ^ a b c d Active only in Trentino.
  10. ^ Active only in Romagna.
  11. ^ a b Active only in Veneto.
  12. ^ Active only in Lombardy.
  13. ^ Active only in the Province of Sondrio.
  14. ^ a b Active only in Apulia.
  15. ^ Active only in Tuscany.
  16. ^ Active only in South Tyrol.

Overseas parties

Defunct parties

Defunct parties represented in the Italian or European Parliament

Countrywide parties

Regional and local parties

Notes
  1. ^ Active only in South Tyrol.
  2. ^ Active only in the Province of Trieste.
  3. ^ a b Active only in Lombardy.
  4. ^ a b Active only in the Southern Italy.

Overseas parties

Defunct parties represented only in Regional Councils

Countrywide parties
Aosta Valley
Piedmont
Lombardy
Trentino-Alto Adige
Veneto
Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Marche
Lazio
Molise
Campania
Apulia
Calabria
Sicily
Sardinia
Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Active only in Trentino
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Active only in South Tyrol

Defunct non-represented parties

Countrywide parties

Regional and local parties

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d Active only in Sardinia.
  2. ^ Active only in Piedmont.
  3. ^ Active only in the province of Trieste.
  4. ^ Active only in the Ossola Valley.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Active only in Veneto.
  6. ^ Active only in Calabria.
  7. ^ Active only in Campania.
  8. ^ Active only in Lombardy.

See also

References

  1. ^ Maurizio Degl'Innocenti (1983). Geografia e istituzioni del socialismo italiano, 1892–1914. Guida Editori. ISBN 9788870423143.
  2. ^ Ubaldo Comite (2017). Un approccio manageriale alla gestione dei partiti politici. Franco Angeli Edizioni. p. 26. ISBN 9788891749703.
  3. ^ Corrado Scibilia (2016). Annali della Fondazione Ugo La Malfa XXV – 2010. Gangemi Editore. ISBN 9788849247404.
  4. ^ Francesco Leoni (2001). Storia dei partiti politici italiani. A. Guida. p. 254. ISBN 9788871884950.
  5. ^ Robert Leonardi; Douglas A. Wertman (1989). Italian Christian Democracy: The Politics of Dominance. Palgrave Macmillan UK. p. 179. ISBN 9781349088942.
  6. ^ Sondra Z. Koff; Stephen P. Koff (1999). Italy: From the First to the Second Republic. Routledge. p. 65. ISBN 9780415196642.
  7. ^ Renato Brunetta (2001). "Italy's Other Left". Daedalus. The MIT Press. 130 (3): 25–45. JSTOR 20027704.
  8. ^ Martin J. Bull (2015). The Oxford Handbook of Italian Politics. Oxford University Press. p. 295. ISBN 9780199669745.
  9. ^ Anna Cento Bull (2000). Social Identities and Political Cultures in Italy. Berghahn Books. p. 4. ISBN 9781571819444.
  10. ^ Europe Since 1945: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. 2014. p. 663. ISBN 9781135179328.
  11. ^ Nicola Maggini (2016). Young People's Voting Behaviour in Europe: A Comparative Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan UK. p. 55. ISBN 9781137592439.
  12. ^ Gianfranco Pasquino (2019). Italian Democracy: How It Works. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9781351401081.
  13. ^ Claire Annesley (2013). A Political and Economic Dictionary of Western Europe. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9781135355470.
  14. ^ Erik Jones; Gianfranco Pasquino (2015). The Oxford Handbook of Italian Politics. Oxford University Press. p. 149. ISBN 9780199669745.
  15. ^ B. Turner (2017). The Statesman's Yearbook 2009. Palgrave Macmillan UK. p. 705. ISBN 9781349740277.
  16. ^ European Party Politics in Times of Crisis. European University Institute. 2019. p. 118. ISBN 9781108483797.
  17. ^ Gianluca Passarelli (2015). The Presidentialization of Political Parties. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137482471.
  18. ^ Carmelo Lombardo; Christian Ruggiero; Edoardo Novelli (2020). La società nelle urne. Franco Angeli Edizioni. p. 30. ISBN 9788835100645.