Mercoledì, 17 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Election 2018: the election law

English
© ANSA

Rome, February 6 - The election law that will be
used when Italy goes to the polls on March 4 is a mix of the
proportional representation and first-past-the-post systems.
It is a controversial law that was passed in parliament late
in 2017 with the help of confidence votes to overcome stiff
resistance from several groups, including the anti-establishment
5-Star Movement (M5S).
It was the fruit of an agreement between the ruling
centre-left Democratic Party (PD), Silvio Berlusconi's
centre-right Forza Italia, and their allies in the rightwing,
Euroskeptic Northern League.
It was widely deemed necessary to bring in a new law because
the systems for the Senate and the Lower House were different as
a result of a parts of a previous system being declared
unconstitutional and ex-premier and PD leader Matteo Renzi's
overhaul of Italy's political machinery being rejected in the
December 2016 Constitutional referendum.
But attempts to push through a bill that all the main parties
could agree on, including the M5S, fell through.
According to the Rosatellum 2 law, nicknamed after PD Lower
House whip Ettore Rosato, 36% of seats are allocated via
first-past-the-post - 232 out of 630 in the House and 116 out of
315 in the Senate - with the remaining 64% awarded via
proportional representation.
There is a 3% entry bar for individual parties and a 10% one
for coalitions.
If a party fails to reach 3%, but is part of a coalition that
gets 10% or more, that party's votes are transferred to the
biggest group in the coalition.
Voters will be faced with a single ballot slip with the names
of the candidates for the single-member constituencies - elected
via first-past-the-post - linked to the symbols of lists for the
proportional part and the relative candidates.
Unlike the never-used Italicum system that was passed in
2015, the Rosatellum does not have a system for awarding bonus
seats to the party or coalition that comes first to ensure it
has a working majority in parliament.
Indeed, many fear that the new system will fail to produce a
clear winner.
Some experts have calculated that a party or coalition will
need to get 40-42% of the vote to win the election, although
much depends on how the battles go in the winner-takes-all
seats.
Italians resident abroad will elect six Senators and 12 Lower
House MPs, although the candidates they elect do not necessarily
have to be living overseas.
The Rosatellum also has a equality clause that means neither
sex can have more than 60% of the candidates on any party list
or more than 60% of a party's first-elected list heads.

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