Under Matteo Salvini’s leadership, the Northern League has
sought to move away from its status of regionalist party to become a
truly national (even nationalist) party, following the example of the
National Front in France. For the new leader, the issues of federalism
and devolution seem to play a less relevant role than opposition to the
European Union and, more generally, to the so-called political establishment.
This chapter shows that 2016 has been a transition year for
the party. After two years of significant electoral expansion, the 2016
local elections seemed to mark a moment of stagnation. Salvini’s popularity
ceased to grow and even started to decline. This posed some
challenges to his right-wing populist project. Yet the concluding section
of the chapter highlights the new political opportunities arising
from Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election and from
Renzi’s constitutional referendum defeat at the end of 2016.