Italy's political landscape after referendum

The outcome of the referendum on constitutional reforms in Italy has prompted Premier Matteo Renzi to announce his resignation after 2 ½ years in office. Here is a look at the political landscape in Italy following the result.



The center-left Democratic Party, or PD, has been left most battered by Renzi's resignation as prime minister following the defeat of his constitutional reforms.

The party is expected to have a leadership meeting in the coming days to determine the way forward.

The PD already had deep rifts when Renzi became party secretary. The rifts widened and became more bitter after Renzi — a former Florence mayor holding no seat in Parliament — unceremoniously ousting Enrico Letta as premier in an insider revolt 2 ½ years ago.

Former Premier Massimo D'Alema, who with his long roots in what was the West's largest Communist Party, headed a faction of more leftist hardliners within the PD. D'Alema campaigned heavily against the reforms and celebrated their defeat. In the last polls before the referendum, the PD was favored by just under one-third of voters.



The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement is the biggest winner in the referendum's failure.

The movement campaigned hard against the reforms and has been against Renzi since he took office.

Founder Beppe Grillo has called for quick elections. But political analyst Giovanni Orsina, deputy director of the school of government at Rome's LUISS university, said he probably doesn't want them to come too soon because he wants the establishment's failure to "cook" over time.

The movement commands roughly one-third of the vote, if opinion polls hold. Whether that would be enough to govern would depend on how the new electoral law is written.



The anti-EU, anti-migrant Northern League leader Matteo Salvini's campaign against the referendum also focused on the overseas vote, as he seeks to expand his party's influence beyond its traditional northern base, including a trip to Moscow.

The Northern League's popularity got a boost in the week after President-elect Donald Trump's victory, and Salvini has been deepening his alliances with Europe's far-right parties to solidify his influence.

The Northern League also has tapped growing discontent with the migrant crisis, especially in the northern regions of Veneto and Lombardy where they run regional governments and where Italy's proud entrepreneurial class is still struggling to regain footing after the economic crisis.

Salvini is pushing for immediate elections, seeking to transform that anger into votes before it can dissipate.



Silvio Berlusconi's movement has been severely weakened since the three-time former premier's tax fraud conviction barred him from office.

Still, Berlusconi is still seen as key to unifying the center-right, if not actively as its leader, at least in giving the nod to whoever will take the helm.

Once backing Renzi on the need for the reforms, Berlusconi came out against the referendum, even though executives in his media empire backed the reforms as being good for the economy.

The Northern League leader is eager to take up that center-right mantle, but Berlusconi has bristled at Salvini's uncompromising brashness. At 80, Berlusconi has had health setbacks, undergoing open-heart surgery earlier this year.



The far-right party sometimes allies itself with the center-right. It was formed with some defectors from Berlusconi's Forza Italia in 2013 joined with the post-fascist National Alliance. The party promotes Italian nationalism and euroskepticism. The party's leader, Giorgia Meloni, has called for a speedy vote.


Frances D'Emilio and Nicole Winfield contributed from Rome.