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The center left of Stefano Bonaccini wins against Matteo Salvini and the League in Emilia Romagna. Berlusconi Jole Santelli triumphs in Calabria with over 20 points above the opponent Goofy Callipo. The 5 star movement it disappears (or almost) in both Regions. The Regional elections on January 27 will be remembered as the event that managed to reverse a trend. It was the least obvious result: the first defeat of the League leader, perhaps even more than a possible victory, even if only in Emilia, is destined to have effects on the government and what it will be in the coming months. The shoulder promised and announced daily by theformer interior minister has not arrived: the dozens of rallies on the territories and a practically constant presence in the last three months have not been enough. It was Salvini himself, while the opposing leaders were hiding in Rome, who wanted to turn the game into a national challenge and now national will be the consequences of defeat. To hurt the League, even more than anything, is the fact that the image of a former Interior Minister who can do everything thanks to the support of his base has suddenly been scratched: Matteo Salvini is beatable and this is the news that comes out of the regional ballot box.
In Calabria from the first exit polls it was clear that the victory of the center-right candidate Jole Santelli was taken for granted. Here the game never really happened. The Berlusconi, according to Swg, obtained 52.58% of the consensus by beating the candidate of the center-left Pippo Callipo (30.7%). Third the number Carlo Tansi (9%). The 5-star Francesco Aiello was even fourth (7, 5%). Lists also give an important signal: Come on Italy it is (slightly) above the Carroccio reaching 11.1 percent of the consents; Fdi 11; the League at 10.6. The first party is the Democratic Party with 14.6% of the votes. The 5 star movement who is even fourth with the candidate for president, he takes only 6.3 percent as a list.
The League does not break through: the bankruptcy of Salvini’s government has failed
The conquest of Rome via Emilia-Romagna has failed Matteo Salvini. Yet the campaign started on November 14th at PalaDozza of Bologna it has been studied down to the smallest detail because for the League the opportunity was unique. The League leader showed up on the electoral committee shortly before the ballot box closed and decided to speak first: 11.30 pm, when still exit polls and first screenings seemed to give a head to head that in fact there never was . He left when the situation was still so confused that he did not have to face defeat: he rejoiced in the victory of Jole Santelli in Calabria and “thanked for the participation”, saying that just the fact that in Emilia “there was an open game”, for him it is “an emotion”. When the first real results arrived three hours later, however, the candidate was sent to comment on the vote Lucia BorgonzoniThis time, yes, alone: ”For the first time the Region has been contestable,” he said. And he is not wrong: in over 70 years the center-left has never lost the regional elections and never as in this round has it feared to lose the local government. Yet the desire to “change”, the great slogan of the Northern League campaign, was not enough to give Salvini and his team the victory. The League has lost votes compared to the past European and even despite all the polls saying otherwise, it did not pass the Democratic party (albeit by a few votes): it stopped at 31.8 percent against 32.8 percent of the Democrats. Only Piacenza, Ferrara and Rimini the provinces where Borgonzoni is ahead. Furthermore, it should be noted that the candidate for president took fewer votes than the coalition, a sign that someone on the right also chose the disjointed vote.
Pd first party, Zingaretti: “Extraordinary figure after two divisions”
In times of thin already holding on in Emilia would have been far enough for the dem. In light of the polls of the last few weeks, also manage to resist in front of a coalition of the center-right that seemed bloated and unbeatable. A few hours after the seats closed, the result exceeded all expectations. In Emilia-Romagna the Democratic Party is the first party, albeit only slightly, to 33.8% ahead of the League at 31.8%. So growing compared to the Europeans, when it took 31%. Without considering that the Bonaccini list is 7% president and Emilia Romagna Brave (Elly Schlein, Pierluigi Bersani, Vasco Errani) around 4 which are still to be considered within the center-left coalition. Also in Calabria, where, however, the center-left loses the elections, the Democratic Party with a weak 14.6 percent is still the first party. This is a signal, which comes from Bologna and its surroundings above all, and from which the dem intend to start again. Not to mention the symbolic places: when we write, a Bibbiano, where the mayor Pd is investigated as part of the investigation into the alleged illegal custody, Bonaccini wins and the dems exceed 40%. The Secretary Nicola Zingaretti he went out to declare even before the candidate, around one oclock in the morning: “The Pd figure is extraordinary,” he said speaking from the Nazarene, “also because in the meantime we have suffered two divisions: the Pd is there, thanks to the trust of the citizens. One can only express great satisfaction for this country “. If you think of the photo of Narni last fall, the famous and unfortunate shot before the defeat in Umbria, two political eras seem to have passed already. And even the secretary of the Democratic Party went further: he thanked the movement of the “sardines” for the push and the help given in these months. And he sent a message to M5s government colleagues: “We are returning to a bipolar system between two large fields who compete for leadership and do so on alternative political choices ”. The 5 stars “take note”.
The Sardine effect and the participation
The turnout was the other major protagonist of this election round. If in Calabria it was stable at 44.32% of the voters against 44.16% of the previous round, in Emilia Romagna has touched 67.6% of those entitled: a result slightly higher than the previous European ones (67.3) and a record compared to the Regional ones of 2014 when he went to vote only on 37.76 percent of voters. Participation made the difference in the Emilia-Romagna match: the spontaneous movement of the sardines, which was in fact one of the protagonists of the election campaign, was part of that disaffection. Born on November 14 simultaneously with the opening of the election campaign of Land Rover Arena in Bologna, they were the only and first to manage to contend the scene a Matteo Salvini. It was they, the four boys from Bologna who launched a flash mob almost by chance, to make it clear that beating Salvini on his media field was possible. Not only did they fill the squares, overturning the narrative that only the leader of the Carroccio could do it, but they filled his own spaces contesting it in conjunction with most of the rallies. They filled Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, opening the way to one of the first rallies in Piazza di Bonaccini in early December, after years of buildings, but they also went to the most exploited square in Italy: Bibbiano. They were where the parties failed to be without exploiting and right there, on the eve of the vote, they began to show that the Salvinian story creaked. While no one dared to go out of balance, the last squares spoke for them: that of Salvini half empty and without symbols, that of sardines as always full.
The collapse and the point of no return for the 5 stars
Both M5s candidates, Simone Benini in the North e Francesco Aiello in the South, they showed up in front of the cameras to say that, in summary, “it could have been worse.” For them, candidates released by the national leader to their fate, certainly. But not for a 5-star movement that in 2018 was the first party in Italy with 32 percent of the votes and which today practically disappears from the territories. In Emilia-Romagna the list is at 4.8 and the candidate is below 4: and, just to understand how much data is left speechless, there in 2010 the first M5s candidate for the Region Giovanni Favia took 6 percent. It is clear that the blow will be felt. In Calabria they weren’t expecting much, with a candidate finished at the center of the controversy for the cousin affiliated to the ‘Ndrangheta and dumped by half M5s executives, but not even to arrive even fourth behind the candidate on the civic list. Pending the final results, they risk not being able to join the regional council. It is no coincidence that the political leader Luigi Di Maio, opposed from the start to the race in the two Regions, has decided to resign just a few days before the result. But in fact the leader gave up his in the most difficult moment. Perhaps the regent will comment in the next few hours Vito Crimi. And he will have to explain where the consensus of 5-star voters has evaporated since the political elections to date. And what they intend to do.
What happens in government
The government heaves a sigh of relief. Perhaps the first ever since the new coalition that gave birth to the Count 2. Because, even if Salvini’s victory would have been difficult to see the executive collapse, the opposition would certainly have been more difficult to manage. The Prime Minister, already after the first results, made it known that they will soon work for the new program: the update of the “non-contract” had been postponed until after the Regionals, waiting to understand if it would be a plan pre-election or studied to last. The second. What changes now is rather the balance of forces within the executive: we are no longer in front of a dying Democratic Party ally of an M5s first party with 32 percent. Rather, we are faced with an almost reversed situation. How will the power relations adjust? “We don’t want places, but themes,” said the deputy secretary of the Democratic Party Andrea Orlando. Here, if thinking about a reshuffle could be complicated, the agenda will be easier to dictate. That could start from delicate and so far postponed topics such as, for example, the modification of the Security decrees. But also from the discussion on the electoral law which, in the light of the results, could be reopened. “The country’s relaunch action continues“, Let Palazzo Chigi know. At least for Conte and Zingaretti the road goes downhill. Waiting for someone among the 5 stars to decide to comment.