In Turin, the collapse of the 5-star movement

It was five years ago, which is to say an eternity in the tumultuous course of Italian political life. During the municipal elections of June 2016, the unclassifiable 5-star Movement (M5S, anti-system), then in full political rise, won the town halls of Rome and Turin, thanks to the victory of two young women carried by the promise of end with the old order.

Rome, conquered by Virginia Raggi, had fallen like a ripe fruit, after years of erratic management and scandals, which had finished discrediting all the local political personnel. But, in Turin, the resounding victory of Chiara Appendino, then aged 32, seemed much more significant. It sounded like the announcement of a national conquest of power by the M5S, which would also happen less than two years later, during the legislative elections of 2018.

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These glorious hours seem far away, while the Turinese are called, on October 3 and 4, to vote to appoint a successor to him. Rolled by five years of a mandate with the air of the Stations of the Cross, Chiara Appendino gave up representing herself, and Valentina Sganga, appointed by the members of the M5S to succeed her, is credited by polls with less than 10% of intentions to vote.

National decline

How to explain this collapse? There is of course the national decline of the M5S, brought to business by the promise to rebuild the republic: the movement has been losing speed since coming to power in 2018, failing to meet the expectations it had. gives birth. But the case also has a local dimension.

Coming from the Turinese bourgeoisie (her father was a well-known figure in local business circles) and a graduate of the prestigious Bocconi University in Milan, Chiara Appendino had everything not to frighten the inhabitants of the city center and the local right, everything by seducing popular circles with its promise to tackle the problems of the peripheries above all. The Turinese will to change had done the rest, who had chosen it rather than renewing their confidence in the outgoing mayor and former minister Piero Fassino (Democratic Party, center left), tutelary figure of the local left, yet credited with a good management of the city’s affairs. But the local popularity of the young woman would soon crack, facing the realities of the exercise of power.

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“Chiara Appendino found herself condemned to inaction by the division of her majority, between a ‘realistic’ wing that she led and the ‘movementists’, who wanted a more radical policy”, explains the journalist Luigi La Spina, connoisseur of Turin’s political realities.

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