Populist wind and electoral behaviour. The case of the Italian constitutional referendum

Vittorio AMATO

 The Italian referendum was followed closely everywhere in Europe (and elsewhere) and the fear of a potential Italian exit from Europe or the Eurozone was palpable. Yet, this scenario was and is unlikely. The fear of political instability of the government in case of a referendum rejection, and the potential risk for the stability of financial markets, which turned out to be highly overestimated, frightened the rest of the world much more than Italy itself.

When it became known that the result of the polls was in favor of NO, national and international media began to speak of populist result. The arguments of this paper attempt to provide an analytical framework slightly more complex than this simplistic definition while recognizing that the so-called populist component has played a significant role.