Referendum on Renzi: The 2016 Vote on the Italian Constitutional Revision
Luigi Ceccarini & Fabio Bordignon
The 2016 constitutional referendum could have marked a new phase in Italian politics, producing a clear shift towards a majoritarian (and de facto presidential) democracy. But a substantial majority of voters rejected the reforms promoted by Matteo Renzi, leading to his resignation as Prime Minister. Once again, an attempt to redesign the Italian institutional framework failed due to party conflicts. This time, the referendum turned into a vote on Renzi himself. This article examines the background to the institutional reforms and the changing dynamics of the referendum campaign. Discussing the final outcome, it argues that this could produce a sort of U-turn in the long Italian transition.