Giorgia Meloni is set to become Italy’s first female prime minister, and also its first far-right leader since the Second World War, with Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party projected to take 26 per cent of the vote.

But the 45 year-old’s victory has yielded a noticeably mixed bag of responses from the rest of the West.

Right-wing leaders and political figures across the continent appear jubilant: Hungarian PM Viktor Orban congratulated Meloni’s “deserved victory,” while French nationalist Marine La Pen said the “great victory” resisted an arrogant European Union.

Meloni has also garnered the support of Santiago Abascal, a Spanish nationalist and leader of the Vox party, and Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki.

Perhaps most notably – and make of this what you will – Meloni’s success has been remarked upon by Kremlin Spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, who said: “We are ready to welcome any political forces that are able to go beyond the established mainstream, which is filled with hate for our country.”

Meloni’s coalition allies, Matteo Salvani and Silvio Berlusconi, have also come under fire for being Putin apologists, so Italy’s future commitment to EU sanctions could be under threat.

On the other hand, many of the West’s most prominent leaders – including US President Joe Biden, his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, and German chancellor Olaf Scholz – have all remained tight lipped about the victory of a party, which has its origins in Italian fascism. 

Liz Truss, however, didn’t shy away from acknowledging the elections results. ““Congratulations to @GiorgiaMeloni on her party’s success in the Italian elections. ” she wrote on Twitter this morning. This was quickly followed by a backlash at her purported rush to “congratulate a neofascist”.

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