This article examines the fortunes of the recently created Five Star Movement, a party that at its first general election in February 2013 became the most voted for party in Italy. It explains the success of this new party through citizens’ demands, patterns of party competition and institutional rules. Building on the interplay between popular demands and party supply, the study examines the overall political stance of this party and how it fits the policy priorities of citizens. By comparing it with other parties, the article investigates how the Five Star Movement distinguished itself from its competitors. Finally, the article examines how the electoral system has limited its emergence.
Published in West European Politics, 38(3), May 2015, pp. 516-534 (online: 13 Jan 2015), DOI: 10.1080/01402382.2014.996377, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01402382.2014.996377#.VXFXUM_tmko