Regional election results for the Five Star Movement (M5S) have cast a shadow over the party and the wider coalition government in charge of Italy.
A regional election on Sunday in Sardinia — a former M5S stronghold — showed that support for the party continues to fall dramatically since the general election in March 2018.
Then, the grassroots anti-establishment movement confounded the establishment by gaining 32.6 percent of the national vote, the largest amount for a single party in Italy and above that of its coalition partner Lega (with 17.3 percent) which was then part of a right-wing coalition.
The party and its leader Luigi Di Maio have failed to make their mark in government over the last year, when compared with the populist Lega party and its vociferous leader Matteo Salvini.
In Sardinia last weekend, a coalition of center-right parties led by Christian Solinas, a member of the Lega, received 47 percent of the votes (although counting continues) and a center-left coalition received 33 percent. M5S fared badly and received just 9 percent of the vote, regional statistics showed Tuesday. To put the poor result into context, in the March 2018 election, M5S had received 42.5 percent of the vote in Sardinia.