The leftist candidate in the Emilia-Romagna elections, Stefano Bonaccini. - Massimo Paolone / AP / SIPA
Italy has its eyes fixed on Sunday on Emilia-Romagna, whose regional election has the value of a national test, the fragile ruling coalition fearing that a victory of the far right in this bastion of the left will lead to a government fall. Representatives of the majority formed by the Democratic Party (PD, left) and the 5 Stars (M5S, anti-establishment) have hammered that this election will have no impact, the head of the League (far right) Matteo Salvini warned: if his party wins, he will demand early legislative elections on Monday. He currently widely conducts national surveys.
A prosperous region in the north center of the peninsula, bathed by the Adriatic, Emilia-Romagna has long been an impregnable bastion of the left whose values still prevail in its cities, even if the right has made serious forays into its villages. and its campaigns. The last polls published before the media silence imposed by law showed that the right, led by the League, was neck and neck with the Democratic Party.
Good local economic results
Some 3.5 million voters are called to vote on Sunday between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. to elect their regional executive. Supported by former head of government Silvio Berlusconi, far-right candidate Lucia Borgonzoni, 43, was overshadowed by Matteo Salvini who criss-crossed the region, flooding social media with images showing him tasting specialties "Made in Italy" that are Parma ham and parmesan.
In the opposing camp, the outgoing regional president and candidate of the left Stefano Bonaccini opposed him during his campaign the good management and the economic results of the region which displays an unemployment rate of 5.9% (against 9.7% nationally) and growth of 2.2% in 2018. The elected representative on the left could also benefit from the anti-Salvinian dynamic created by the Sardines, a youth movement born in the region two months ago and quickly becoming a national symbol of the protest against the far right.
Anti-Salvini Vote Division
For the first time in its history, the League triumphed in Emilia-Romagna in the European elections in May, becoming the first regional party with almost 34% of the votes, exceeding 31% of the PD. Five years earlier, it had won only 5% of the vote, against 53% for the left party. A victory for the League would increase tensions within the majority, the PD then probably accusing the M5S of having refused to present a single candidate, thus dividing the anti-Salvini vote.
"If the Democratic Party were to lose another regional stronghold, as was the case in Umbria three months ago, it could conclude that it has more to lose by remaining allied with the ever weaker M5S than by risking new elections, "cabinet Berenberg said on Friday.
Will a wave of "Sardines" block the road to Matteo Salvini in Italy?
Tens of thousands of "sardines" demonstrate against the far right in Italy
- Far right
- Matteo Salvini