Italian Left

Italian Left

Sinistra Italiana
SecretaryNicola Fratoianni
PresidentClaudio Grassi
Founded19 February 2017 (2017-02-19)
Merger ofLeft Ecology Freedom
Future to the Left
Venetian Left
minor groups
HeadquartersVia Arenula, 29
00186 Rome
Youth wingUnion of Young People of the Left
Membership (2017)19,346[1]
IdeologyDemocratic socialism[2]
Green politics
Political positionLeft-wing[citation needed]
National affiliationFree and Equal (2018–2019)
The Left (2019)
European affiliationParty of the European Left (observer)
European Parliament group2017–2019:
S&D (1)
Colours Red
Chamber of Deputies
1 / 630
3 / 315
European Parliament
0 / 73
1 / 897

Italian Left (Italian: Sinistra Italiana, SI) is a left-wing political party in Italy.

SI was launched in November 2015 as a parliamentary group in the Chamber of Deputies (full name: Italian Left – Left Ecology Freedom), including Left Ecology Freedom (SEL), dissidents from the Democratic Party (see Future to the Left) and splinters from the Five Star Movement.[3] At its launch, SI included 32 deputies,[4] who were soon followed by 8 senators (who formed a sub-group within the Mixed Group of the Senate in February 2016) and 2 MEPs. SI was officially formed as a full-fledged party in February 2017, after SEL had chosen to merge into it in December 2016.

The party is led by Nicola Fratoianni. Notable members include Nichi Vendola (former leader of SEL), Loredana De Petris, Stefano Fassina, and Sergio Cofferati. In the aftermath of its founding congress, 18 deputies left the party, leaving it with 13 deputies, 8 senators and 2 MEPs: 17 deputies, led by former group leader Arturo Scotto, joined the brand-new Article One, while Laura Boldrini (President of the Chamber of Deputies) joined the Chamber's Mixed Group.

In late 2017 the party was a founding member of Free and Equal, a left-wing joint list for the 2018 general election.



In June 2015, Stefano Fassina, a former deputy minister in the Letta Cabinet, left the Democratic Party (PD) over disagreements with Matteo Renzi, then PD leader and Prime Minister.[5] In doing this he was followed by his long-time ally Monica Gregori [it].[6] In July, during a convention, Fassina launched Future to the Left (FaS), an incubator of a new left-leaning party, with other movements and breakaway groups such as Possible (Pos) and Left Ecology Freedom (SEL).

In November, one senator (Corradino Mineo)[7] and three more deputies (Alfredo D'Attorre [it], Carlo Galli [es; it] and Vincenzo Folino [it])[8][9] left the party in protest against Renzi. D'Attorre, who holds a doctorate in philosophy from the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies,[10] wrote a manifesto for a new "labour" party, which was signed also by the other five MPs and, which read: "The genetic mutation of the PD, born as central force of the Italian centre-left, is unfortunately already completed. The Renzi experience and the introduced mutations won't be a parenthesis. They have already altered in a irreversible way the perception of the PD and its function in the collective imagination".[11] Subsequently, a parliamentary group under the banner of Italian Left was formed in the Chamber of Deputies, whose core was formed by SEL.[12][13]

Formation of the party

In February 2016, SI held its constituent assembly in Rome.[14][15][16] Consequently, SI was established as a sub-group within the Mixed Group in the Senate: five senators of SEL, two dissidents from the Five Star Movement (Fabrizio Bocchino [it] and Francesco Campanella [it]) and one former Democrat (Mineo) joined,[17] while two SEL senators (including Sardinian nationalist Luciano Uras [fr; it])[18] refused to join and left their party altogether.[19]

Several lists named after SI participated in the 2016 local elections. The party did particularly well in Sesto Fiorentino, a medium-sized city in the metropolitan area of Florence, where it won 17.5% of the vote and its candidate for mayor was elected in the run-off with 65.5%, by beating his Democratic opponent.[20][21]

In December 2016, SEL was dissolved, in order to merge it into SI in early 2017.[22]

In February 2017, SI was officially formed and Nicola Fratoianni was elected as its first secretary.[23][24][25]

Contextually, SI leader in the Chamber of Deputies Arturo Scotto (who was originally a candidate for the leadership [26] Massimiliano Smeriglio), D'Attorre, Galli and Folino led a splinter group into the Article One – Democratic and Progressive Movement (MDP), a party formed by left-wing splinters of the PD.[27][28][29]

In March 2017, SI welcomed the four deputies of Possible (Pos) in its group in the Chamber.[30][31][32] In April, Campanella left the party.[33]

On 24 June 2017, SI was accepted into the Party of the European Left as an observer member.[34]

Free and Equal coalition

On 3 December 2017, SI established Free and Equal (LeU), a left-wing joint list for the 2018 general election, together with the MDP and Possible, and chose the President of the Senate and former anti-Mafia prosecutor Pietro Grasso as its leader and candidate for Prime Minister.[35]

In the election, SI obtained three deputies (Fratoianni, Fassina and Erasmo Palazzotto) and one senator (De Petris).

In October, SI focused on forming an alliance with Luigi de Magistris' Popular Coalition for the 2019 European Parliament election, and broke with the MDP and LeU.[36][37]

In January 2019, after the MDP's departure,[38] SI returned into LeU's fold and, under the leadership of senator Francesco Laforgia and deputy Luca Pastorino (dissenting members of the MDP and Possible, respectively), the two organisations initiated a collaboration with the goal of forming a joint party at some point.[39][40]

For the 2019 European Parliament election SI formed a joint list named The Left with the Communist Refoundation Party and other left-wing and far-left groups. The list obtained a mere 1.8% of the vote, leading Fratoianni to resign from secretary of SI.[41][42]

In and out of government

In August 2019, tensions grew within the coalition supporting the government, leading to the issuing of a motion of no-confidence by the League.[43] During the following government crisis, the M5S and the PD agreed to form a new cabinet together, under outgoing Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.[44] SI, along with the MDP and the entire LeU, joined Conte's second government, in which SI's Giuseppe De Cristofaro was appointed undersecretary of University.

In January 2021 Fratoianni was re-elected secretary of the party during an online congress.[45][46][47]

In February, after the collapse of the government led by Conte, Mario Draghi was sworn in at the head of a government comprising the main parties of the centre-left and the centre-right. Fratoianni voiced concerns over SI's participation in the government and the party's national assembly voted against the cabinet. However, two out of three MPs, senator De Petris and deputy Palazzotto, announced their intention to vote in favour anyway, splitting the party.[48] Subsequently, Palazzotto left the party.[49]


The party's founding members were:

Party Main ideology Leader Ref
Left Ecology Freedom (SEL) Democratic socialism Nichi Vendola [50]
Future to the Left (FaS) Social democracy Stefano Fassina [51]
Venetian Left (SV) Communism Pietrangelo Pettenò [52]

Along these, some youth organisations (including ACT! Agire Costruire Trasformare[53] and TILT),[54] local groups and individuals have joined SI.


SI's ideology is a mix of democratic socialism, social democracy and anti-austerity issues.

In his manifesto, D'Attorre wrote that the new party will need to "go beyond the separation between reformists and radicals" and later explained that SI will be Keynesian and opposed to neoliberalism. The coalition's economics adviser is Joseph Stiglitz, a well-known American economist and winner of the Nobel prize in economics, who had already been involved with the Greek Syriza, the Spanish Podemos and the British Labour Party.[55]

Fassina has also proposed a "controlled disintegration of the Eurozone".[56]

Electoral results

Italian Parliament

Chamber of Deputies
Election year Votes % Seats +/– Leader
2018 into LeU 3.4
3 / 630
Nicola Fratoianni
Senate of the Republic
Election year Votes % Seats +/– Leader
2018 into LeU 3.3
1 / 315
Nicola Fratoianni

European Parliament

European Parliament
Election year Votes % Seats +/– Leader
2019 into The Left
0 / 76
Nicola Fratoianni

Regional Councils

Region Election year Votes % Seats +/−
Aosta Valley 2018 N/A N/A
0 / 35
Piedmont 2014 40,873 (9th)[a] 2.1
2 / 50
Increase 1
Lombardy 2018 into LeU
0 / 80
South Tyrol 2018 into Greens
0 / 35
Trentino 2018 into LeU
0 / 35
Veneto 2020 41.275 (7th) [b] 2.0
1 / 51
Increase 1
Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2018 into Left FVG
1 / 49
Decrease 1
Emilia-Romagna 2020 38,845 (6th)[a] 3.2
0 / 51
Increase 1
Liguria 2020 15,451 (8th)[c] 2.5
1 / 31
Tuscany 2020 46,270 (9th)[d] 2.9
0 / 41
Decrease 1
Marche 2020 11,834 (11th)[e] 1.9
0 / 31
Umbria 2019 6,627 (8th)[f] 1.6
0 / 21
Lazio 2018 into LeU
1 / 51
Decrease 2
Abruzzo 2019 into LeU
0 / 31
Decrease 1
Molise 2018 into LeU
0 / 21
Decrease 1
Campania 2020 25,125 (11th)[g] 1.1
0 / 51
Apulia 2020 63,725 (6th) [h] 3.8
0 / 51
Decrease 4
Basilicata 2019 into Possible
0 / 21
Decrease 1
Calabria 2020 Did not run
0 / 31
Decrease 1
Sicily 2017 100,583 (9th)[i] 5.2
1 / 70
Increase 1
Sardinia 2014 35,376 (5th)[a] 5.2
4 / 60
Increase 3
  1. ^ a b c As Left Ecology Freedom.
  2. ^ In a joint list with Art.1 and Pos
  3. ^ In a joint list with Pos and ÈViva
  4. ^ In a joint list with PRC, PaP, SA
  5. ^ In a joint list with PRC
  6. ^ Into Green Civic Left
  7. ^ In a joint list with PRC, PCI, PdS, AET
  8. ^ In a joint list with Art.1 and PRI
  9. ^ In a joint list with Article One–MDP.




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  6. ^ Fassina, addio al Pd: "Nuovo soggetto politico con Civati e Cofferati" http://www.repubblica.it/politica/2015/06/24/news/fassina_abbandona_il_pd_l_ho_lasciato_ieri_sera_in_un_circolo_di_periferia_-117591749/
  7. ^ Corradino Mineo lascia il gruppo Pd: "Contro di me inaccettabile processo sommario" http://www.repubblica.it/politica/2015/10/28/news/corradino_mineo_lascia_il_pd_conto_di_me_inaccettabile_processo_sommario_-126069901/
  8. ^ D'Attorre, Galli e Folino lasciano il Pd: "Non c'è più dialettica nel partito" http://www.repubblica.it/politica/2015/11/04/news/d_attorre_galli_folino_lasciano_il_pd-126619055/
  9. ^ Pd: i deputati Galli, Folino e D’Attorre lasciano il partito. “Ora gruppo con Sel, ma non chiamateci ‘Cosa rossa'” http://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2015/11/04/pd-i-deputati-galli-folino-e-dattorre-lasciano-il-partito-mutazione-genetica-in-casa-dem-ora-gruppo-con-sel/2188507/
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  13. ^ Si chiamerà "Sinistra italiana": domani Sel e gli ex Pd battezzano il nuovo gruppo 'anti-Renzi' http://www.huffingtonpost.it/2015/11/06/sinistra-italiana-sel-ex-pd_n_8487950.html
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  26. ^ "Sinistra italiana, corsa a due per la segreteria: Scotto sfida Fratoianni". 23 January 2017.
  27. ^ Stefanoni, Franco (25 February 2017). "Ecco il nome degli ex Pd: Articolo 1 Movimento dei democratici e progressisti".
  28. ^ "«Democratici e progressisti» il nuovo nome degli ex Pd. Speranza: lavoro è nostra priorità". Il Sole 24 ORE.
  29. ^ Binelli, Raffaello (25 February 2017). "Nasce il Movimento democratici e progressisti". ilGiornale.it.
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  38. ^ "Una forza rosso-verde per garantire l'alternativa alla nuova destra".
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  44. ^ "Conte wins crucial support for new Italian govt coalition". Washington Post.
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  51. ^ NASCE OGGI SINISTRA ITALIANA, NUOVO GRUPPO PARLAMENTARE UNITO https://www.futuroasinistra.it/2015/11/07/nasce-oggi-sinistra-italiana-nuovo-gruppo-parlamentare-unito/[permanent dead link]
  52. ^ Sinistra Veneta ha condiviso un link. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=551714218324442&id=431222653706933
  53. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 August 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  54. ^ Mapi Pizzolante a Cosmopolitica https://www.facebook.com/Tiltcamp/videos/vb.211298158909267/1021028537936221/?type=2&theater
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  56. ^ European 'alliance of national liberation fronts' emerges to avenge Greek defeat https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11768134/European-alliance-of-national-liberation-fronts-emerges-to-avenge-Greek-defeat.html

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