The DC’s unparalleled record among parties in Western democracies of remaining in power for the entire post-war period is very likely to be extended well beyond the late 1980s. Furthermore, the DC’s major electoral losses in 1983, which were to a large extent a delayed reaction to its deteriorated public image in the 1970s, have proved not to be the beginning of an irreversible decline. Indeed the DC appears likely to remain the plurality party in Italy for a considerable time, aided both by its own staying power and by the decline of the PCI’s votes in the 1980s. There are many societal trends at work which will affect the DC’s electoral strength; some are positive for the DC, some are negative. Much also depends on the DC’s own strategy and on the strategy and fortune of other parties, especially the centrist parties with which the DC competes most directly for votes. Neither a major recovery nor a precipitous drop — but rather slow change — in the DC’s electoral strength is likely.
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