Local elections today key test for PM
A total of 21,859,325 Italians will be eligible to vote today to elect governors in seven of the 20 regions, Campania, Veneto, Apulia, Tuscany, Liguria, Marche and Umbria and Mayors in 742 municipalities.
The elections are seen as a key test for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his centre-left to left-wing Democratic Party (PD), with the Prime Minister toning down his originally highly optimistic predictions that the PD could win in six regions. Currently five of the seven regions are held by the left with one in the hands of the right-wing anti-European Northern League (Veneto) and one controlled by Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right Forza Italia (Campania).
The PD are now saying that a 4-3 win for them would be a victory. The thing to watch in this election is whether there is a rise in the Eurosceptic vote. In Spain Podemos did well in recent elections and in Poland they elected their first Eurosceptic President recently. In Italy that could be repeated and it is possible that the Northern League could do well and of course the Five Star Movement is still a potential threat.
The election has been complicated by the publication of the names of 17 ‘unpresentable’ candidates published by the anti-Mafia Commission. The ANSA news agency reports that 13 come from Campania and four from Puglia including the PDs candidate for governor in Campania, Vincenzo De Luca.
The 26,398 polling stations are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. local time.
A second round of the elections will be held on 14th June where a candidate hasn’t achieved more than 50% of the vote.