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Italy’s Meloni poised to shape EU politics after strong election showing

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s far-right party Fratelli d’Italia led the Sunday results with a strong 28% of the votes, boosting her leadership at home and consolidating her kingmaker role in Europe.


A gigantic “Grazie” appeared in the background as Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni came up on stage at Rome’s Parco dei Principi hotel right after the first results on Sunday confirmed her Fratelli d’Italia party as Italy’s leading political force.

Indeed, she has reasons to be thankful, and one thing is certain: the “just write Giorgia” slogan paid off. The decision to encourage Italians to vote for her as the lead candidate — despite her showing no interest in going to Brussels as an MEP — has allowed her party to win the elections by a landslide, with nearly 29% of the vote.

Meloni aimed to secure the same or a higher share of the vote, like in 2022, to ensure she was in the driving seat for five years and demonstrate that she could succeed where others had failed.

The Rome-born politician has long wanted to become a symbol of political stability—something seen as much more valuable than single policies in a country where most governments last less than two years on average.

It took her ten years to increase her far-right party’s 3.7% share of the vote in the 2014 European elections sevenfold.

Vincenzo Emanuele, a professor of Political Science at Luiss University, said it is remarkable that Meloni has been able to get a higher share of the votes compared with the 26% in 2022, and she has done so “in the middle of the term when political promises have not yet been fully fulfilled.”

“That’s usually the time when national governments lose support,” he adds.

Meloni is one of the few EU leaders who has won these elections by a significant margin.

The outcome of the vote shook the power balance in France and Germany, but the Italian PM might be seen as the steady hand among other member states — a sign that the tables have turned.

‘Meloni Internazionale’

So, what is Meloni’s role in Europe now? The leadership she demonstrated outside of Italy was one of the most popular talking points of the past electoral campaign, even more so now that the electoral results have bolstered her role.

Certainly, the topic has been at the centre of many political talk shows and political analyses in Italy and abroad.

With the EPP winning the most seats and the prospect of relying on the same majority as the outgoing one, Prof Emanuele said, “Meloni is not necessarily needed as part of the ruling coalition — although, with such a significant shift to the right, she could voice the needs of right-wing political groups, for example, when it comes to the rejection of the Green Deal.”

In her speech early on Monday, the Italian PM highlighted that her next priority is to lead the G7 summit — set to take place in Apulia on 13-15 June — as one of the strongest leaders to emerge from the elections. This could suggest that Meloni’s ambition is to continue pushing for more influence at the international level.

However, the compelling result of Fratelli d’Italia is not the only main takeaway from the vote.

As the PM stressed, “Italy is returning to a two-party system,” fully acknowledging centre-left PD leader Elly Schlein’s role as the main opposition leader.

Despite one of the lowest voter turnouts Italy has ever recorded, Italians have shown renewed support for the PD party by backing Schlein’s work.

The party has made significant gains, which analysts say are the result of Schlein’s leadership. And for the first time, two women are leading Italian politics.

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