Despite delivering exactly what it promised – a parliamentary earthquake – the Five Stars Movement could be in trouble.
In the Friuli regional elections held yesterday and on Sunday, it received less than 20 per cent of the votes, when it was expected even to win.
Moreover, it was revealed than less than 30,000 people took part to the presidential primary elections held online by the Movement.
In the end, the troubles of the Movement are not so surprising. Before the last elections, it was a little-considered outsider. Now it is under the spotlight, which in Italy means being a target for all sort of attack. Not only by the TVs (which are owned by the State or by Mr Berlusconi) and by the newspapers (which are generally related to some mainstream political party and are constantly attacked and snubbed by Mr Grillo), but also on the Internet. The Web, indeed, is not an exclusive dominion of the Movement, but is well attended also by other electors, especially leftist ones.
But how much will these attacks damage the Movement ? And will it be able to strike back ? Probably yes, since the mainstream parties are now stuck in a bipartisan Government (something which is often despised by electors in a polarized country like Italy) which will have to handle new austerity policies.