Italy regional elections: Right-wing coalition wins landslide victory

Italy regional elections: Right-wing coalition wins landslide victory
Опубликовано: Monday, 13 February 2023 18:42

PM Giorgia Meloni’s victories in Lombardy and Lazio strengthen her hand against government partners.

Italy’s right-wing coalition won huge victories in key regional elections in Lombardy and Lazio — while Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s position was strengthened compared with her governing partners after resoundingly totalling more votes.

Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party came first in Lombardy with around 25 percent of the vote, according to early results, overtaking her right-wing partners the League, which won 16 percent in its northern stronghold, and Forza Italia which won 8 percent.

The incumbent governor of Lombardy, Attilio Fontana from the League — who was the right-wing candidate and backed by the coalition — won a comfortable reelection with more than 50 percent, while the Socialist MEP Pierfrancesco Majorino, who was also supported by the anti-establishment 5Star Movement, came a distant second with around 33 percent.

Italy’s biggest and wealthiest region, Lombardy is historically a right-wing heartland and, although Fontana’s result exceeds polling during the electoral campaign, there were few doubts that he would win an easy second mandate.

The outcome in Lazio, the region which includes Rome, arguably comes as a bigger blow for the left, which has governed the area for the past 10 years. Meloni’s party won 34 percent in Lazio, while coalition partners the League and Forza Italia polled respectively at 6 and 5 percent.

The right-wing candidate for governor Francesco Rocca, a former president of the Italian Red Cross and ally of Meloni, came first with just under 50 percent of the vote. The Democratic Party and the 5Stars stood two separate candidates, but the strategy turned out to be a strategic blunder, dividing the left-wing votes and paving the way for a right-wing landslide.

The leaderless left-wing Democratic Party, currently going through a leadership election, is also seen as having fought an anonymous and reluctant electoral campaign in both regions, although the party’s actual performance was not as bad as many feared.

“This result consolidates the compactness of the center-right and strengthens the work of the government,” Meloni wrote on Twitter.

Brothers of Italy’s performance strengthens Meloni’s hand against her coalition partners, the leader of the League and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini and Berlusconi.

Both elections saw a low turnout — 37.1 percent in Lazio and 41.6 percent in Lombardy.

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