Italy’s Election Law Favours Coalitions, Fewer Seats up for Grabs

by sima88

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella dissolved parliament on Thursday, with an election set to be held on Sept. 25, several months ahead of schedule.

Following is a description of Italy’s complex election law, which favours parties able to create pre-election coalitions:

Some 36% of parliamentarians in both the upper and lower houses are elected on a first-past-the-post basis, with the rest chosen by pure proportional representation (PR) via party lists.

Parties can stand alone or as part of broader coalitions. Single parties need to win at least 3% of the vote to gain seats, while coalitions need to take 10%.

However, a recent survey suggested that a bloc of conservative parties, led by the far-right Brothers of Italy, looked likely to win a clear majority.

Voters will elect a drastically slimmed-down parliament that is likely to have a big impact on politics, reducing the likely size of future majorities and making party loyalty amongst those elected much more important than before.

In the Senate, 74 seats will go to first-past-the-post winners, 122 will go to the PR lists, and 4 will be for the overseas vote.

Voters get two voting slips – one for the Senate and one for the lower house. They can only put one cross on each slip, with that vote counted for both the first-past-the-post and PR segments. Under previous electoral systems, voters were able to split their vote between individual candidates and the parties. Voters must be aged 18 or over. The previous 25-year age limit for the Senate vote has been dropped.

No more than 60 percent of the candidates on any of the lists can be of the same sex.

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Keith Weir)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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