The April 1992 general elections in Italy have been called an "electoral earthquake." 1 This expression has often been used inappropriately; but this time, a comparison of the current electoral results with previous ones, as well as an examination of the various indices of volatility and instability (Table 6.1), suggest that there was a real break in 1992. 2 The index of instability, the highest ever recorded in Italy since 1953, is particularly striking. However, over the last few years the volatility and instability have increased gradually from election to election, and the 1992 "earthquake" was predicted by the results of the 1990 local elections, when the number of votes switched from one party to another was sometimes even larger than in 1992.