There are two reasons I have not commented much.
- First, the System is rigged against the Five Star Movement.
- Second, the M5S is now no longer calling for a euro exit. An M5S win is not as disruptive as it once was.
It's not talked about in mainstream media, but the other parties got together and passed rules that place more emphasis on coalitions than coming in first.
If the other coalitions agree to exclude M5S there is nothing M5S can do other than top the 40% threshold, winning outright.
Yes, 40%, not 50% is the new majority. Even that is not enough if another coalition can top the mark.
Recent Italy Polls
Return of Silvio Berlusconi?!
On October 26, 2012 former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was convicted of tax fraud in an Italian court and was sentenced to four years' imprisonment. He was also banned from running for public office for a five-year term.
Guess what? The clock on his ban is expiring.
If the March 4 elections result in a hung parliament that results in new election, this 81-year old tax fraud may very well end up back as Italy's prime minister.
Ain't life grand?
Beppe Grillo, the founder of M5S, has ruled out coalitions. However, it's not his choice.
On September 20-21 2017 the Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies, Luigi Di Maio was elected in an on-line primary election, with 82% of votes, replacing Grillo as leader of the M5S.
If the polls are accurate, the center-right and center-left could form a "grand" coalition. However, their policies are so divergent, it could not last.
Perhaps a "grand" coalitions forms as a matter of political expediency.
For example, Silvio Silvio Berlusconi could agree to the coalition with a thought of killing at at a convenient time next year when he can run again directly.
The eurosceptic Northern League (NL) is very wary of the center-right alliance and Silvio Berlusconi's backstabbing history.
Berlusconi is now one of the more pro-europe proponents after having advocated leaving the euro.
However, the coalitions are set until after the election. The setup opens up quite a number of possibilities.
If no coalition or combination of coalitions can top 40%, the announced coalition agreements dissolve.
Should that happen, there is a distinct chance that M5S aligns with the Northern League.
M5S+LN easily tops 40%. Should M5S outperform, this is a likely result.
Italian polls are highly unreliable. If voters wish to voice disapproval, they will vote for M5S. It is on that basis I project M5S to surprise to the upside.
Following the election, whatever the outcome, there will be enormous pressure from every corner to form an unworkable "grand" coalition just as is happening now in Germany.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock