The victory of the right in Abruzzo gives wings to Meloni

After the Sardinian setback, the polls once again give good news to Giorgia Meloni.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
10 March 2024 Sunday 16:27
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The victory of the right in Abruzzo gives wings to Meloni

After the Sardinian setback, the polls once again give good news to Giorgia Meloni. The Italian Prime Minister can breathe easy after her candidate in the Abruzzo elections, the outgoing governor Marco Marsilio, has won the elections in this region of central Italy with 53.5% of the votes, while his opponent, Luciano D'Amico, an independent supported by all left-wing parties, was defeated with 46.5%.

The Italian right was very aware this weekend of what was going to happen in this region of 1.3 million inhabitants, in the heart of the country, because the Abruzzo elections came just two weeks after the surprising victory of the left on the island of Sardinia. There Alessandra Todde, the candidate of the 5 Star Movement (M5E) and the Democratic Party (PD), won by just 2,000 votes over the person chosen by Meloni, in what was the first defeat for the far-right president since she came to power in Italy a year and a half ago.

In Abruzzo the scheme was practically the same: a region controlled by the right where a candidate from different progressive parties had options to contest this party. The chosen one was D'Amico, an economist and former university rector who had the transversal support of the entire opposition to Meloni, from the social democrats and the grillini to the centrists of the Terzo Polo. The mobilization has been maximum, with the general secretary of the PD, Elly Schlein, and the leader of the M5E, former prime minister Giuseppe Conte, putting aside their multiple differences to jointly help D'Amico. So did the Sardinian Todde, the new star of the opposition, who after her victory in Sardinia wants to demonstrate that there can be an alternative to the current right-wing Executive.

But it was not enough. Abruzzo has not followed the example of Sardinia and the prime minister has managed to retain control of this region at the hands of the outgoing president, Marsilio, a former deputy and former senator from the Brothers of Italy who is very close to the Italian president. The results, despite a high abstention – only 52% of voters went to the polls – confirm that Meloni's party continues to predominate Italian politics, since Brothers of Italy has been the party with the most votes with nearly 24%. of the votes, compared to 20% of the PD.

“He is the first president in the history of Abruzzo to be confirmed by voters for a second term. And it is a source of great pride for us that the citizens of Abruzzo have continued to give him their trust, and with it the center-right, which is confirmed as the majority option. It is a trust that, as always, we will not betray,” the ultraconservative leader celebrated on her social networks. Aware of the importance of the message that the polls in Abruzzo were going to send, Meloni took time this week between his international commitments to help Marsilio in his campaign.

Like Meloni, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, new leader of Forza Italia since the death last year of Silvio Berlusconi, can also feel satisfied, who has seen how his party has obtained better than expected results, reaching 13 % at the polls. On the other hand, the biggest loser of the night in the right-wing coalition is the other deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, at the head of the League, whose formation has not even reached 8% of the votes.

This puts the league member in a dangerous situation a few months before the European elections. Overcome by the pull of Meloni, who has dressed as a moderate since he came to power, Salvini has been radicalizing his messages against Europe or against immigration for months to differentiate himself from the leader of the Brothers of Italy. The polls warn that his strategy is not working for him and that he risks falling below 10% of the votes in the June community elections, which could lead some heavyweights in his party to demand his head and ask for a change. in the leadership of the League.