When is the Italian election 2018?
Italy’s next election will take place on Sunday March 4 2018. In Italy, elections for MPs and Senators take place every five years.
Polls will be open from 7am until 11pm across the country as voters elect the 945 members of the parliament for the 18th legislature since 1948.
The Italian election 2018 vote is to elect 630 members of the Camera dei Deputati (lower chamber) and 315 of the Camera del Senato (the Senate/upper house).
The lower chamber building is called Palazzo Montecitorio and the upper chamber meets in Palazzo Madama.
Similar to Britain, Italians don’t elect the Prime Minister.
They can only vote for candidates who are chosen by the parties and will become members of the chambers or the equivalent of a UK MP.
The President then chooses the PM, who is usually the winning party/coalition’s leader and is then in charge of forming a government.
Italians also don’t choose the President, Parliament does every seven years.
How does the Italian election voting system work?
The Italian election 2018 will be held under a newly-approved electoral law called Rosatellum Bis, which was inspired by the German system.
The mixed electoral system, which was approved in November 2017 following support from Lega Nord, Forza Italia and the Democrat Party, sees politicians elected in two ways.
In a “winner takes all vote”, 36 percent of seats of elected under a uninominal system.
This is a first-past-the-post electoral system and is used to vote the parties or coalitions leaders, ideally granting the most prominent people in the parties seats in Parliament.
While the remaining 64 percent of seats are elected under a proportional method which sees a list of candidates chosen by party leaders who get more votes.
Each party needs to get at least three percent of votes in both chambers to get into parliament, while coalitions need 10 percent.
Five Star Movement and small left-wing parties are strongly opposed to the new system.
How do voters cast their ballots in the Italian election 2018?
Everyone over 18-years-old gets a vote – but only people over 25 can elect representatives in the upper chamber.
Voters are presented with two sheets of paper, one to choose members of the lower chamber and one to choose the ones of the upper one.
The upper chamber also has a small portion of people (Senatori a vita, senators for life) who can’t be elected but are appointed by the President for specific merits and retain their seats for their life. i.e. Architect Renzo Piano is a Senatore a vita.
People aged between 18-24 can only vote for members of the lower chamber.