Monday, January 27, 2020

Italian Regional Elections

You may have heard that the left in italy has defeated the right in the Emilia-Romagna region; one of the more left-wing areas of the country. The left alliance took 51.42% of the vote, compared to 43.63% for the right. Within the left, PD took 34.69% of the vote region-wide, while within the right, Lega took 31.95%. The left will have a majority of 28-18-2 in the assembly, with M5S making up the final 2 seats.

Interestingly, the Hard Nationalist party, FdI, took 8.59% of the vote compared to 2.56% of the vote for Berlusconi's party.

All of this, however, means little. A break in a regional streak does not end that streak. Look at the list of Premiers of BC to see that in action; one NDP blip in the 70's did not mean the SoCred streak of governance would end before the 90s.

What is important to note, thus, is the results in Calabria.

The right alliance won here with 55.29% of the vote and 19 seats compared to 30.14% and 10 seats for the left. M5S' alliance took 7.35% of the vote, but, will be seatless. The leading left party is PD, with 15.19% of the vote.

What really matters is the breakdown of the right-wing vote. The right-wing coalition here had 6 members. One is simply the "Presidents Party" so called because it was created and exists solely to give seats and votes to the Presidential (IE Premier) candidate. Both Left and Right alliances in both regions had such parties. Another member is the House of Freedoms, which, at least at the national level, dissolved in 2008. It was Berlusconi's party. Another member of the Liberal Centrists, which is a Socially Conservative party that's moderate on fiscal issues.

These were the three lowest performing parties in the right-wing alliance. House of Freedoms took 6.39% of the vote, the Centrists took 6.84%, and the President's party took 8.45% of the vote; all taking 2 seats each.

This is important, as this kind of vote splitting within an alliance is stronger here, and with this alliance, than with other alliances and in other places. More important is the top three.

The Hard Nationalist party, FdI managed to take 10.85% of the vote and 4 seats. Lega, lead by Salvini, took 12.25% and 4 seats. Forza Italia, the current party of Berlusconi, was the best finisher in the list, taking 5 seats on 12.34% of the vote.

Breaking things down by party:

15.19% - Progressives
12.34% - Berlusconi
12.25% - Salvini/Lega
10.84% - Hard Nationalist
6.25% - M5S

This implies three things:

1 - That Lega, formerly Lega Nord, does indeed have appeal here in the Southern tip of mainland Italy.

2 - That Lega has yet to break through in the south the way it has in other parts of the country, and still needs support from coalition partners to win here.

3 - That the unity of the right-wing alliance is going to matter, a lot, as Lega won't be able to win the next national election on their own, but will need support from Berlusconi's party, and the Hard Nationalists, to achieve a majority.

Lastly, the results themselves, carry a 4th implication:

Salvini will win the next national election, and, in alliance, become Prime Minister of Italy.

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