Which parties are out of Parliament after the elections: the threshold

Political elections of 25 September 2022 in Italy

Today 25 September we vote for the political elections in Italy: after the vote, the results will be calculated. To know who enters Parliament, and who stays outside, we need to know what the threshold is and how it works.

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Political elections of 25 September 2022 in Italy

The elections are over, the votes are counted, and it is now clear which parties will have access to Parliament and which will not. To have at least one seat, in fact, parties and coalitions must pass a certain one barrier threshold, provided for by the current electoral law. For the most voted parties, such as Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy, Enrico Letta’s Democratic Party (who announced that he will leave the leadership of the Democratic Party) and Giuseppe Conte’s 5-star Movement, this threshold is not a problem, but for some it meant exclusion from Parliament.

The parties that will not go to Parliament after the elections

As mentioned, the threshold was certainly not an obstacle for the Brothers of Italy (26% of the votes), the Democratic Party (19%) or the 5-star Movement (15%), but not even for the parties that were disappointed by the own result as Lega (8%) or Third pole of Action and Italia Viva (7%).

For some parties, however, entry into Parliament will not be possible. There are minor parties, which had little chance of joining: among them the radical left wingers People’s Union by Luigi De Magistris, but also Civic engagement by Luigi Di Maio, inserted in the center-left coalition. Or again, Alternative for Italythe list of Mario Adinolfi and Simone Di Stefano.

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There were, however, also deployments that according to the latest polls published had the hope of exceeding the threshold: for example + EuropeEmma Bonino’s line-up which stopped at 2.9%, e Italexit, party of Gianluigi Paragone. Even the list We Moderatesinserted in the center-right, stopped below 1% of the votes.

What is the threshold for parties

It’s about a minimum percentage of votes to reach, in order to send at least one person to Parliament. Most of the electoral laws provide for one, because if there were not a minimum necessary threshold, it would be practically impossible to be able to assign seats to all the political forces that stand in the elections and get at least one vote.

Already in the first electoral law of the Italian Republic, approved in 1946 and modified only slightly in the following years, it was necessary to have at least 300 thousand votes to be able to elect a representative. With the law called Mattarellum, which entered into force in 1993 and proposed by the current President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, the calculation mechanism was rather, but a threshold of 4% of the votes to be exceeded was still envisaged. Even in the subsequent electoral law, approved in 2005 and called Porcellum, the threshold was 4%.

With the current electoral law, called Rosatellum, for parties that present themselves alone, the barrier to be overcome is 3%. All parties that have taken less than 3% of the total votes, therefore, in these elections will not be able to send their representative to the Chamber or the Senate.

The threshold for coalitions

The question is different as regards the coalitions. Coalitions are groups of parties that decide to stand together in elections. In concrete terms, this means that on the ballot they are indicated together, and in each single-member constituency they can present only one candidate for the coalition, instead of having one for each party.

For coalitions, a specific threshold applies. Regardless of the outcome of the individual parties that make it up, the coalition as a whole must achieve at least the 10% votes to have representatives in the House or Senate.

Since on the ballot paper it is possible to vote for a particular list, and thus express a preference for one party in the coalition over another, it is likely that the parties within the coalition will have different results. It may be that some of the parties in the coalition does not reach the threshold of 3% of the votes, provided for individual parties. In this case – which occurred with We Moderates, Civic engagement And + Europe – the candidates of that party in multi-member constituencies will not be able to be elected in Parliament. However, if the party has received at least 1% of the votes, these are divided among the other members of the coalition who have passed the barrier. Civic Commitment and Noi moderati stopped below 1%.

The threshold in the last elections

In the political elections of 4 March 2018, we voted with the same electoral law as today. The party with the most votes was the 5 Star Movement, which received over 32% of the votes. In that election, as in this one, there were two coalitions: the center-right, which took about 37% of the votes nationwide, and the center-left, which took about 23%.

In both cases, there were parties within the coalition that took over less than 3%: We with Italy for the center-right, and + Europe, Together and People’s Civic for the center-left, in addition to the South Tyrolean People’s Party. Among the other candidate lists, Liberi e equuali barely passed the barrier with 3.3% of the votes. No other party managed to get more than 3% of the votes.

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