In 1991, after some public campaigning in the Sunday journal Mattino della Domenica against political power and use of public money, the editor Giuliano Bignasca and the director Flavio Maspoli founded the Ticino League to continue the fight at the political level. Bignasca (1945–2013) was the League's "president for life".
The League is one of four major parties in the canton, alongside FDP.The Liberals, the Christian Democratic People's Party, and the Social Democratic Party. Since 1991, the party has been represented in the National Council and in the five-member cantonal Ticino executive (the Council of State, Consiglio di Stato) with two seats. In the 90-seat Ticino legislature, (the Grand Council, Gran Consiglio) the party has 21 seats.
At the 2011 federal election, the party won 0.8% of the national popular vote and secured 2 out of 200 seats in the Swiss National Council (the first chamber of the Swiss parliament), doubling their representation compared to the single seat they held in 2007 with 0.5% of the vote. In the 2015 election, the Ticino League slightly increased their share of the national vote to 1.0% and kept their two seats in parliament. The party is not represented in the second chamber nor on the executive body of the nation.
In the Federal Assembly, the League sits with the Swiss People's Party, and commentators see it as the Swiss Italian equivalent of the SVP. A more notable political position of the League is its support for banning the Burqa, which it achieved in 2015. It is also strongly eurosceptic, supporting Swiss sovereignty and reduced immigration.
The League supports continued Ticino membership in Switzerland. However, it supports the project of Insubria, and it has some ties with the regional and federalist northern Italian rightist party Lega Nord.
- Mazzoleni, Oscar (2005). Multi-Level Populism and Centre-Periphery Cleavage in Switzerland: The Case of theLega dei Ticinesi. Challenges to Consensual Politics: Democracy, Identity, and Populist Protest in the Alpine Region. Brussels: P.I.E.-Peter Lang. pp. 209–228.