Latest regional elections in Italy show trend:
The Italian regional elections that took place in the regions of Abruzzo on 10 February 2019 and in Sardinia on 24 February 2019 confirm the rapid growth of the right-wing populist Lega party. The results of the two regional elections are not only an expression of regional political preferences, but also a reflection of the current political situation in Italy as a whole.
In the 2018 national election, 32,7% of the Italians voted for the anti-establishment party Movimento Cinque Stelle and 17.4% voted for the right-wing Lega. Together they formed a government coalition. Since its founding in 1991, the Lega has been pursuing the independence of Northern Italy as its main objective. Only for the national elections last year, this goal was abandoned and the party was renamed from Lega Nord (in English: Northern League) to Lega. Since then, the popularity of the party among the voters in Italy is growing. This is mainly due to party leader Matteo Salvini, who has also managed to gain support in the southern regions of Italy, where the Lega had never played a role due to their former secessionist stance.
Supporters of the right-wing League party attend a rally in Rome, Italy, December 8, 2018.
Source: REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
Salvini’s personal success is based on a very intense social media campaign, paired with his convincing ideas of “Italy first” and on the topics of national security and sovereignty from the EU. This has made him the ideological leader of the entire political centre-right spectrum in Italy, by what nowadays he plays a central role in the domestic political dynamics of the country, as the regional elections in Abruzzo and Sardinia show.