ABSTRACT

This chapter discusses classification of the Lega Nord (LN) as 'populist' since numerous scholars from both Italy and abroad over the past two decades have defined the party in this way. It gives a brief overview of the LN's history until 2008, particularly as regards alliances and election results. Then, it consists of two sections: first, focuses on LN in organizational terms, and second focuses on 'The ideology', that how scholars have defined the party and assess the ideology of the Lega as it is set out in official party documents. The grassroots presence of the LN is described by party members as functioning on two main levels. First, they draw attention to the fact that elected LN representatives regularly come to meet party members and discuss current issues with them. Second, members stress the extent and frequency of their own activism, both as regards branch meetings amongst themselves and their efforts to promote the party to the wider public.