In the 2013 general election SC obtained 8.3% of the vote, 37 deputies (in its own lists) and 15 senators (within CMI). After the election, SC deputies and senators formed joint groups named "Civic Choice", including also UdC and FLI MPs, in both houses of Parliament.
Since then, the party was often riven by internal disputes. Monti twice presented (and later retracted) his resignation from president. In late July he clashed with the "Catholic" wing of the party, especially with Olivero, whom he accused of being too close to the UdC (whose deputies and senators were part of SC's parliamentary groups). Also Future Italy, seemed to have little patience with the "Catholic" wing and even to be willing to distance from the party.
After Monti's abrupt departure, spokesperson Benedetto Della Vedova, who represented the liberal wing of the party (including Pietro Ichino, Gianluca Susta, Linda Lanzillotta, etc.), announced that SC would "go on" as a "liberal, people's, reform and European party" and would never form a partnership with the PdL. Lanzillotta remarked that "Italy needs a liberal, people's, deeply reform-minded and Europeanist party" and that "we did not take votes for giving life to a Catholic party and being part of a centre-right still led by Berlusconi. For his part, during a TV interview, Monti stated that "my and SC's commitment does not end now" and that "many tell me they did not vote for SC for the specific reason that we were with president Casini; they might have been right".
On 22 October the executive committee voted in favour of the separation from the UdC. The "popular" majority of SC's parliamentary group in the Senate responded by dismissing Susta as floor leader, while Olivero stated that the Populars aimed at forming a party modelled on Germany's Christian Democratic Union. On 6 November the SC senatorial group, dominated by Populars, elected L. Romano as new floor leader; the decision was not endorsed by Bombassei and was opposed by Montiani and liberals, who talked about dismissing Lorenzo Dellai from leader in the Chamber as retaliation.
On 15 November the Populars walked away from the party's national assembly and left the party altogether. The assembly elected Bombassei president and appointed Stefania Giannini secretary. On 23 November the Populars, led by Mauro, Dellai and Olivero, launched Populars for Italy (PpI). On 10 December the party's break-up was effective in Parliament: 20 deputies (led by Dellai) and 12 senators (led by L. Romano) launched For Italy (PI) groups, while 26 deputies (led by Andrea Romano) and 8 senators (led by Susta) confirmed their allegiance to SC. All the UdC MPs but one joined PI.
After Matteo Renzi's election as secretary of the Democratic Party (PD) in December, SC started to approach the centre-left, while ruling out any alliance with the centre-right, once again led by Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (FI). SC had long expressed a certain affinity for Renzi, and, in early February 2014, Stefania Giannini finally declared that she saw "its party more as the right-wing of a reformed and reforming left than the left-wing of a right that still has in Berlusconi its standard-bearer".
On 10 April Bombassei resigned as president of the party, citing his disagreement with the party's political re-positionment (no longer a third-party force, but a close ally of Renzi's PD, under Giannini's leadership), the change in party's identity and "prevailing personal ambitions".
On election day SC/SE received just 0.7% of the vote and failed to return any MEPs. Consequently, Giannini resigned from secretary.
In October A. Romano, who had left the position of floor leader in the Chamber some months earlier, left the party in order to join the PD.
In November the party's assembly decided that the new leadership, replacing Giannini and Balduzzi, who had been elected to the Supreme Council of Magistrature and had resigned from Parliament, will be selected in a congress to be held in January 2015.
However, on 6 February, two days before the congress, eight senior members of the party (including six former Democrats), including its minister (Giannini), its deputy minister (Calenda), two deputies and five senators (including Giannini), had already left the party; all of them, except Calenda (who later became minister), joined the PD. As a result, the party was deprived of its parliamentary group in the Senate. In fact, of the two remaining senators, Della Vedova left during the congress, while Monti was no longer active.
In two years, from the 2013 election to February 2015, SC had lost more than the half of its MPs, mostly to Popular Area and the PD.
Zanetti's leadership and further splits
In July 2015 the party's national board elected Salvatore Matarrese president, Angelo D'Agostino first vice president and Valentina Vezzali vice president. More important, the assembly decided that the party would change name and symbol by the end of the summer, in the effort of being more competitive in the 2016 municipal elections. The new chosen name, "Citizens for Italy", would be used only in local elections, indeed.
In January 2016, during a cabinet's reshuffle, Zanetti was promoted deputy minister of the Economy, while another SC deputy, Antimo Cesaro, was appointed undersecretary at Culture. Despite this, the party, which had virtually disappeared from opinion polls, continued to lose deputies and its group in the Chamber was reduced to 20 individuals by February. In the meantime, Zanetti explained that there were similarities between SC and Denis Verdini's Liberal Popular Alliance (ALA), and, according to Corriere della Sera, the two groups could soon merge. In the meantime, SC formed a federative pact with the Moderates.
In July, after that the majority of the party's deputies had come in opposition of an alliance with the ALA (a party basically formed by splinters form Berlusconi's FI), Zanetti led four deputies out of the parliamentary group. Contextually, Zanetti, who pretended to be still the leader of SC, started to organise a joint group with the ALA and, possibly, Flavio Tosi's Act!, and a new liberal party with the contribution of Marcello Pera, a former President of the Senate and former leader of FI in Tuscany. The party's national board sided with Zanetti in July and the national assembly did the same in October, with 63 votes in favour and 39 against.
This caused the final split of the party and the formation of two different parliamentary groups:
"Civic Choice toward Cizitens for Italy - MAIE" (the official SC group), formed by eight deputies of the ALA, five of SC (Zanetti, D'Agostino, Vezzali, Rabino and Giulio Sottanelli, who was elected group leader), two of the Associative Movement Italians Abroad (MAIE) and one splinter from Act!; the group was renamed "Civic Choice - ALA for the Liberal and Popular Constituent Assembly - MAIE" in December 2016;
In April 2017 Rabino was elected president of the party.
In September 2017 Zanetti re-positioned SC from the centre-left to the centre-right and, more specifically, in close alliance with Berlusconi's FI. The 2017 Sicilian regional election, for which SC announced that its candidates would run within FI's lists, marked the first time that SC officially sided with the centre-right. In November, the party's national board endorsed Zanetti's political line and marked SC's official adhesion to the centre-right coalition. The decision was opposed by a vocal minority of the party's membership and three deputies (Ernesto Auci, D'Agostino and Vezzali) subsequently left and formed the European Civics.
^Nordsieck, Wolfram (2018). "Italy". Parties and Elections in Europe. [web.archive.org/web/20190327123459/parties-and-elections.eu/italy.html Archived] Check |archiveurl= value (help) from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 2019.