The end of the unprecedented experience for Italy of a government including sovereignists is a stinging setback for league leader Matteo Salvini, who could, however, turn his return to the opposition into a bath of youth.
The incumbent Minister of the Interior had in vain mocked a "riquiqui government", built on the appetite for ministerial chairs, he lost his bet to call an early poll in the autumn.
"He made a political mistake rather than timing," AFP analyst Lorenzo Castellani, a professor of political science at Luiss University in Rome, told AFP.
Mr Salvini thought he was playing on the surprise by blowing up the alliance formed with the 5 Stars Movement (M5S) on August 8th, but he underestimated the reaction capacity of the Italian system based on parliamentarism, and European partners from Italy.
He did not see that was established "via contacts between the European capitals and the president" Sergio Mattarella "a + conventio ad excludendum +, an agreement to prevent it from filling the voices and to govern the country for five years, "according to Castellani.
On the day of his break-up, Salvini's League was credited with 38% of the voting intentions, four points higher than its May European record. It has fallen to 31% / 33% in recent days.
One of his right-hand men, Gian Carlo Giorgetti, interviewed by the daily Corriere della Sera on Thursday, also said that "Salvini's fundamental mistake was to win the Europeans, he became the number one enemy in Italy and not only".
– Fear of Europeans –
For Professor Castellani, Mr Salvini "scared the Europeans" when he refused to vote, in spite of a prior agreement with his Five Star allies and major European parties, in favor of Ursula von der Leyen as President of the European Commission.
"He reasoned according to the eurosceptic impulses of his party and his electorate in Italy", while even Viktor Orban's Hungary, "yet much more questionable for his methods of government" than Mr. Salvini, approved the election from Mrs von der Leyen.
The Europeans "got scared, they dreaded having to run another Boris Johnson," he "did not understand the real game of the forces he had against him," Castellani said.
For several days, he seems to have realized and blasted a conspiracy of a new executive between his former Five Star allies and the Democratic Party (PD, center left) "formed on the indications of Paris, Berlin and Brussels".
The expert Castellani refuted the qualification of extreme right for the League and Mr. Salvini, in spite of his diatribes against the "clandestine" or "the Roma".
"It is in the continuity of all the right-wing governments, including the very first one of Silvio Berlusconi in 1994, which included the post-fascist National Alliance, which was much more far-right than Salvini today," he said. there.
– "He will not let go" –
For the political scientist, La Ligue is "a right-wing party with hints of nationalism, pro-business and hard on immigration like everyone in Europe, including Spain" as a country bordering the Mediterranean. "It is not xenophobic, if it is the cream of unscrupulous communication Salvini on social networks, but eurosceptic," he said.
While waiting for a probable crossing of the desert, the 46-year-old Lombard, who fell into a very young politics, warned already that he "will not let go of the song" and intends to start again in the countryside: he announced stands in the squares on weekends. end of September 20/21 and a big "day of Italian pride" in Rome on October 19th.
In the coming months, the rating of Mr. Salvini is expected to fall, according to political scientists and Mr. Castellani even sees it fall from 10 points to less than 20%, because "the Italians are cynical and they do not like the smart guys who turn out to be losers ".
But Maurizio Cacciari, Italian philosopher close to the left, launches a warning Thursday in La Stampa: "The pact PD-M5S may benefit Salvini. To beat the populism, we need new ideas. Otherwise we will open the doors wide. and we will have the sovereignists in power for one or two generations. "