After voters from the snowy peaks of the Alps to the sunny shores of Sicily delivered a verdict so fractured and mysterious it could take months to sort out, the banner headline Monday in the venerable daily La Stampa captured the state of a nation that’s left no one in charge: “Ungovernable Italy.” … Sunday’s vote appeared to knock the foundation out of the current political system — more than half of voters opted for anti-establishment, euroskeptic parties — without offering a clear alternative.
E.U. bigwigs in Brussels and a section of Italy’s elite had hoped there would be a fallback option of a super-establishment coalition of the willing. That would entail a tie-up between ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right Forza Italia, or Forward Italy, and the ruling center-left Democratic Party. That type of alliance worked in Germany after months of haggling.
But in Italy, the two mainstream parties together barely managed to exceed the vote share of the populist Five Star Movement — an Internet-based movement founded by a comedian that pulls voters from either end of the political spectrum and didn’t even exist a decade ago. Other votes were sprinkled across a range of far-left and far-right forces.