The anti-establishment and Eurosceptic movement has the wind firmly in its sails.
The next Italian election is due to take place on 4th March. The country is currently run by a centre-left coalition led by the Democratic Party. However, Italy could be the latest in a series of states to throw a populist tantrum.
The country's Five Star Movement, formed in 2009, currently has 88 members in the Chamber of Deputies, but it is likely to gain a whole lot more.
Until early last year, the Democrats led in the polls. But then, the anti-establishment Five Star Movement have been giving them a run for their money. When electoral alliances are split up into individual parties, the Five Star Movement have led in every poll this year. For example, the latest Termometro Politico poll puts them on 26.3% while also putting the Democrats on 21.3%.
If polling is to be believed, the Five Star Movement is likely to end up the largest party come early March.
The betting markets
According to Ladbrokes, the M5S is the favourite party to win the most seats (as of 23rd February). The company offers odds of 1/3 for such an outcome. In addition to this, it offers odds of 11/4 for the Democrats, 12/1 for Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and 20/1 for the right-wing Lega Nord.
The rise in populist parties across Europe is not going away. Emmanuel Macron may have halted the advance of the Front National in France, but elsewhere anti-establishment movements are making waves. However, while the Five Star Movement will in all likelihood win the most seats, it will probably not form the country’s next government.
That all said, if the Movement come first it will viewed as a win for Europe’s anti-establishment groups.