Citation: Bailo, F. (2018). Bridging the void: Distress, participation and the electoral success of the Five Star Movement (2005-2018). In preparation, 0(0), 0.
Keywords: Five Star Movement
This paper uses geographically-defined social media from Meetup.com, electoral data and other demographics to analyse the M5S political enterprise. Causes, effects and context of political participation are difficult to quantitatively assess since direct participation is rare across the population. By using metadata from 234,000 events organised between 2005 and 2018, I measure the associations between a number of ecological variables at different level of geographic aggregation. I research the interaction between local electoral and participatory support for the M5S and among local support, political opinions and economic conditions. I find a clear correlation between participation and electoral support both in the 2013 and in the 2018 general elections and matching methods supports a causal inference. I also find that unemployment is associated with support for the M5S only in the Northern (and wealthier) regions, while in the South distrust towards political institutions is a much better predictor.