Lega leader Matteo Salvini: the party represents Italy’s wealthy north and taxpayers who resent corruption. Photograph: Daniel Dal Zennaro

Italy’s president Sergio Mattarella has one hell of a dilemma. Normally it’s simple. He asks the largest party in parliament to see if it can put toge(...)

Silvio Berlusconi: Despite his political departure in 2011 following a sex scandal and fraud conviction, he has re-emerged as “Italy’s kindly granddad”. Photograph: Remo Casilli/Reuters

Matteo Salvini* does not pull his punches. And his supporters love his bluntness. At a rally in Rome, the leader of the Northern League (NL) earned hi(...)

Forza Italia party leader and former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi: clearly running the party’s show. Photograph: Matteo Bazzi/EPA

The tide of populist and Eurosceptical politics that has swept Europe over the last couple of years does not appear to be ebbing. The electoral succe(...)