Keywords: Voting; Elections; Italian Politics; Second Republic; Parties.
The 2013 election was an event widely seen as marking a sea-change
in Italian politics so in this article we seek to explore what was responsible for the outcome as well as considering its consequences. It is argued that the outcome can be understood as the product - first - of the series of party-political changes following the 2008 election that were to lead to the distinctive configuration of choices among which voters were required to choose; second, of the events and processes, including those of the campaign, that impinged on voters' decisions about how to distribute their votes among the alternatives on offer; third, of the effects of the electoral system in converting the distribution of votes into a given distribution of seats. The main systemic consequences were three-fold: confirmation of the growing significance of the Presidency in the Italian political system; the possible initiation of a new era of government "from the centre"; significant change within the three largest parties, the 5 Star Movement, the People of Freedom, and the Democratic Party.