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As background to this post, note that the president of Italy is a figurehead with little day to day power. However, the president has a role in elections and the formation of a government.

The doomed from the beginning coalition of M5S and the League failed earlier this month.

I commented Italy's Gov't Collapses, Prime Minister Resigns: What's it Mean? What's Next?

The collapse was long in the making as the only thing the parties had in common was an anti-immigration stance. At the time the coalition formed, the Five Star Movement (M5S) was the senior party with the League (previously the Northern League) as the junior party.

The League now dominates the polls. The collapse was triggered last week when the 5 Star Movement (M5S), Salvini's coalition partner, attempted to derail a high-speed rail link that the League (Lega) wanted.

The collapse became official today with the resignation of Giuseppe Conte, the compromise Prime Minister. Neither the leader of M5S nor the League held the highest office.

Forcing a New Unstable Government

Please consider Italy May Find Out Today Whether It Gets New Government or Vote.

Head of state Sergio Mattarella meets with Italy’s main political leaders on Wednesday in a last-ditch bid to carve out a viable majority in parliament, after a day of brinkmanship, finger-pointing and recriminations between the two parties trying to put together a new government.

Mattarella’s second day of consultations features talks with the Democratic Party and the Five Star Movement, long-time rivals now bound by a desire to work together to forestall early elections that would likely be won by Matteo Salvini’s rightist League.

The president has set a tight deadline to see if there’s a chance the Democrats and Five Star can reach an agreement on a new coalition, after Salvini knocked the populist government on its head earlier this month in a risky bid to capitalize on voter support and move to early elections.

Blending Oil and Water Again

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A government of M5S and PD is no more viable than M5S and the League. The only thing those parties had in common was an anti-immigration, anti-establishment stance.

The Italian president wants M5S to join up with PD even though M5S came into government on an anti-PD platform.

If you are asking "How the hell can this ever work?" then you are asking the right question.

This is a power grab attempt by the president to stall elections that could possibly result in a very anti-euro, anti-immigration, anti-EU government.

Foolish Effort

The effort is foolish.

A new election now would certainly put the League into power, but perhaps by not enough of a margin to give leader Matteo Salvini a majority large enough to modify the constitution.

M5S will hugely damage itself if it forms an alliance with its former primary opposition.

Salvini's Gambit

Possibly by the time you read this, the government will have officially collapsed with new elections called. Alternately, another unstable government will have formed.

Salvini's gambit by collapsing the prior government with M5S should be easy to spot.

Salvini is willing to bet on an election win sooner or an even bigger election win later if M5S marginalizes itself with an unstable alliance with arch-enemy PD.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock