In Italy, elections were held in numerous communities over Pentecost. This was the first mood test since Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her right-wing coalition won the elections last fall. And it turns out that Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing coalition clearly has the upper hand and is ahead in most communities.
The shifts within the victorious right-wing camp are noteworthy: Meloni’s “Brothers of Italy” party now also wins in the north, in Lombardy and Veneto, where the Lega previously dominated. In cities like Brescia or Vicenza, Meloni’s party is now even surpassing that of Matteo Salvini. For Salvini, the head of the Lega, this is a disgrace, since his party has long dominated these northern regions unchallenged.
In this election, however, Meloni also succeeded in winning over people for herself and her party who had previously voted for Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party. Berlusconi is seriously ill and has lost votes almost everywhere. Berlusconi’s party is in danger of disappearing.
Right parties outperform leftists
The left-wing opposition has no reason to celebrate. She had hoped to defeat Giorgia Meloni and the right in this first test of mood, at least in big cities or in Tuscany, where the left once had its strongholds.
But this hope has been dashed, the right has gained important town halls, such as Ancona or Brindisi. And it has been able to hold cities that had long voted on the left, such as Siena or Pisa.
This is also due to the fact that the two major left-of-centre parties, the Social Democrats and the 5 Star Movement, competed separately in many places, thus helping the right to win.
Meloni leaves the rest
For the newly elected leader of the Social Democrats, Elly Schlein, this is a bitter first defeat. After this fiasco, Schlein could soon come under pressure from within the party.
Only Giorgia Meloni emerges from this election as really strengthened. All political competition is currently dwindling next to her.
Franco Battel is the foreign editor at Radio SRF and oversees the Austria dossier, among other things. From 2015 to 2021 he reported from Rome as a correspondent for Italy and the Vatican. Previously he was the foreign editor responsible for Mexico, Central America, Cuba and Liechtenstein.
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