The FdI forms the central government together with right-wing populist Matteo Salvini’s Lega and right-wing conservative Forza Italia with former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. According to preliminary results, Lega candidate and current regional president Attilio Fontana won in Lombardy – with around 56% of the vote. His social-democratic opponent, Pierfrancesco Majorino, therefore won 32% of the vote.
Meloni personally supported the winning candidate in the Lazio region. Francesco Rocca, former head of the Italian Red Cross, also received more than 50% of the vote. Social Democratic candidate Alessio D’Amato stabilized at around 34% of the vote. Rocca will thus replace the previous centre-left government in the Lazio capital region.
IMAGO/Vincenzo Nuzzolese The centre-right coalition parties, and above all Meloni, supported Rocca’s candidacy in Lazio
Very low voter turnout
A total of twelve million Italians could vote. In contrast to the last regional elections five years ago, with a high turnout of 70%, it has now dropped dramatically to 42%. In Lazio, it was even lower, around 37%.
“It is unfortunate that turnout was very, very low. We must try to re-establish the relationship between citizens and institutions,” Fabio Rampelli of the FdI told RAI. However, the landslide victory for the right is “an extraordinary result”.
IMAGO/rafa jacinto The Lega candidate, Attilio Fontana, prevailed again as regional president
Meloni: “Strengthens the work of government”
Meloni congratulated the election winners: “I am sure that Fontana and Rocca will do their best to fulfill the vote and mandate of the citizens of Lazio and Lombardy. This is an important and significant result that strengthens the unity of the centre-right alliance and strengthens the work of government.”
With victory in Italy’s two richest regions, right-wing parties now control 15 of Italy’s 20 regions, in addition to the central government. The centre-left parties failed to present a cohesive alliance. The split between the Partito Democratico and the Five Star Movement significantly weakened the left in Lazio.
Lega and Forza Italia behind Fratteli d’Italia
The performance of individual parties in Meloni’s centre-right coalition also attracted a lot of attention in these regional elections. In the September elections, Meloni’s FdI party in particular gained ground, reaching around 26 percent. Its allies, on the other hand, lost votes. Lega only achieved around nine percent (2018: around 17 percent), Forza Italia received around eight percent of the votes (2018: around 14 percent).
A similar trend has now been noticed in regional elections. The center-right bloc won 55 percent (Lombardy) and around 50 percent (Lazio) of the vote. However, Lega (Lombardia: 16 percent, Lazio: six percent) and Forza Italia (Lombardy: eight percent, Lazio: five percent) trail Fratteli d’Italia.
Meloni’s party achieved more than 33 percent approval in Lazio, up again compared to the September election. In Lombardy, the FdI scored almost 26%. Either way, this strong performance strengthens Meloni’s position in the government.