5 Star Movement

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5 Star Movement
Party leader Luigi Di Maio
Parliamentary leader
Founded October 4, 2009
Political ideology Populism
Political position Big tent
International affiliation Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy
Color(s) yellow and white
Website movimento5stelle.it

The 5 Star Movement (M5S) is a populist political party in Italy. It was founded in 2009 by comedian Beppe Grillo as an anti-establishment protest party, but it quickly gained support and became Italy's largest single political party in 2018.

Electoral success

While the M5S performed poorly in Italy's 2017 mayoral elections,[1][2] the year earlier, it captured the mayorship of Rome.[3] Virginia Raggi, the M5S mayor of Rome called for a suspension of immigration into the city.[4] The M5S performed well in the 2017 Sicilian regional elections, a region heavily impacted by the migrant crisis.[5]

In the 2018 election, M5S along with Lega Nord performed very well, and M5S became the largest single party in Italy.[6] along with massive losses for the Italian left-wing.[7] The party performed so well that in Sicily it won more seats than the number of candidates it put up in the region.[8] Overall, populist and Euroskeptic parties received over 50% of the popular vote.[9] In May 2018, M5S anti-establishment Lega Nord agreed to a common platform, one that promoted strongly nationalist and anti-establishment policies.[10] Both parties allowed their voters to choose whether they approved of the coalition agenda.[11] Despite this, Italy's establishment president rejected the coalition government as it supported nominating a Euroskeptic finance minister.[12] However, a few days later, the two parties were able to reach a compromise with Italy's president and finalized their governing coalition.[13] The new government, Western Europe's first one completely run by populist and anti-establishment parties, was sworn in on June 1, 2018.[14] Giuseppe Conte was named the government's prime minister.

After government coalition's beginning, the M5S found it difficult to keep momentum and maintain its polling numbers as the more conservative Lega Nord took the spotlight.[15] By early 2019, the party was performing significantly worse in various regional elections than it did in the general election, while the League's popularity surged.[16]


M5S is considered a populist party, but unlike right-wing populist and Euroskeptic parties, it is more centrist overall on issues related to immigration and the European Union, having moderated as it became a more established force.[17][18][19] It has defined itself as an anti-establishment movement.[20][21]

In contrast to Matteo Salvini's Lega Nord, the 5 Star Movement is hostile to Israel. Manlio Di Stefano, one of the leader of this party has accused Israel of committing a "genocide" and claimed that Hamas is apparently just a political party that has resorted to terrorism solely because of "the isolation of Gaza." The party has declared that it would officially recognize a "State of Palestine" when they get into power and condemned the settlement program in the West Bank. Its founder Beppe Grillo believes in 9/11 conspiracy theories and party leaders have supported the Chemtrail conspiracy theory.[22] The M5S has taken a critical stance toward certain liberal French policies, and criticism from M5S leaders partially led France to recall its ambassador to Italy in February 2019.[23]


  1. D'Emilio, Frances (June 12, 2017). Populists' surge in Italy stops in voting for Italy's mayors. Fox News. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  2. Zampano, Giada (June 12, 2017). 5Stars suffer setback in Italy’s local elections. Politico. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  3. Williams, Thomas D. (June 20, 2016). Populist Woman Mayor Wins Rome by Landslide: ‘New Era’ Begins. Breitbart News. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
    See also:
  4. Shaw, Adam (June 15, 2017). Mayor of Rome Calls for Suspension of Flow of Migrants into the City. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  5. Williams, Thomas D. (November 7, 2017). Populists Crush Center-Left Social Democrats in Sicily Elections. Breitbart News. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  6. Multiple references: See also:
  7. Williams, Thomas D. (March 6, 2018). Italy Election Aftermath: Renzi Quits, Center-Left ‘Disappears’. Breitbart News. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  8. Reale, Claudio (March 6, 2018). Elezioni, vittoria troppo larga per M5S: in Sicilia più seggi che candidati. Palermo. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  9. Multiple references:
  10. Multiple references:
  11. Segreti, Giulia (May 20, 2018). Italians back League, 5-Star plan as groups ready government team. Reuters. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
    See also:
  12. Multiple references:
  13. Multiple references:
  14. Multiple references: For a profile of the government's cabinet:
  15. Balmer, Crispian (November 22, 2018). Italy's 5-Star struggles to keep up with soaring Salvini. Reuters. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  16. Multiple references:
  17. Legorano, Giovanni (March 1, 2018). Why Italian Elections Matter: A New Type of Populism Is Rising. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  18. Zampano, Giada (March 13, 2018). 5Star leader: Brussels has nothing to fear. Politico. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  19. Dettmer, Jamie (March 1, 2018). Italy’s Maverick Political Movement Starts to Grow Up, But at a Cost. Voice of America. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  20. Lyman, Eric J. (March 1, 2018). Anti-establishment Five-Star Movement set to upend Italian politics. The Washington Times. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  21. Clarke, Hilary (March 1, 2018). The maverick populists striking fear into Italy's mainstream parties. CNN. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  22. David, Ariel (July 19, 2016). They’re Openly Hostile to Israel. So Why Did These Italian Politicians Just Pay a Visit?. Haaretz. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  23. Multiple references: