Claim: Regional Election Results Could Shake Up Italian National Government

Head of the Lega party, Italian senator Matteo Salvini addresses a press conference at the Lega headquarters in Milan, Italy, on September 21, 2020 within a nationwide referendum vote on cutting parliament numbers, and regional elections held at the same time. (Photo by Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP) (Photo by PIERO …

Following the regional elections that saw the centre-right coalition backed by populist Matteo Salvini largely victorious, Italian media have speculated that the results could spell discord for the ruling leftist coalition.

While the Democratic Party won several regions, keeping their stronghold of Tuscany in particular, the Five Star Movement (M5S) saw a dismal result, polling in the single digits in many of the regions that held elections on Sunday and Monday.

According to a report from Italian newspaper Il Giornale, the results could see Democratic leader Nicola Zingaretti push ahead his party’s agenda, which in turn could lead to conflict with the Five Star Movement which is still the larger of the two parties in the national coalition.

The newspaper states that a major restructuring of the government and its programme could come after the United States presidential election in November. Despite the possible conflict, Giuseppe Conte has declared that he will remain as prime minister until 2023.

An alleged revolt is also said to be occurring within the M5S after the election results with Massimo Bugani, current chief of staff for Rome’s M5S mayor Virginia Raggi, openly criticising the past leadership of former M5S leader Luigi Di Maio.

“He never took any position to build serious projects in the regions, and then decided to resign — not after taking note of the failure, but only to leave a poisoned ball in the hands of his successor,” Bugani said.

Ignazio Corrao, an M5S member of the European Parliament, said the regional results “cannot be considered a positive outcome for the movement”, and noted that the M5S received fewer votes than five years ago.

Salvini’s centre-right coalition, meanwhile, gained the region of Marche and now controls 15 of the 20 Italian regional governments. The centre-right candidate for Veneto Luca Zaia even managed to break Italian electoral records, securing nearly 76 per cent of the vote.

While still a member of the centre-right coalition, Zaia launched his own list for Veneto president, scoring much higher than the list of Salvini and the League. Some Italian media have speculated Zaia could challenge Salvini for leadership of the League itself.

Zaia, however, has denied any national ambitions, saying: “There is no conflict between us. I plan to govern Veneto. I have no interest in national politics.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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