Italy: centre-left scores in local elections

Italy's social democrats chalked up major successes in the big cities in local elections on Sunday and Monday. In Milan, the centre-left incumbent candidate Giuseppe Sala (Europa Verde) emerged as the clear winner, securing an absolute majority in the first round of voting. The Covid pandemic has apparently ushered in a new era, and not just in Italy, commentators believe.

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La Repubblica (IT) /

A victory for pragmatism

The votes of more than 12 million Italians are a reward for the moderates, La Repubblica rejoices:

“Particularly in the major urban centres they portray a country that reflects the pragmatic approach of the government that has prevailed in the wake of the pandemic. The success of the moderates is mainly the achievement of the centre-left, because Enrico Letta's PD (Democratic Party) put forth candidates that are capable of being inclusive and open to change and of giving shape to the period of new beginnings after the pandemic.”

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Populists on the way out

The vote has made it clear that people do not appreciate more extreme views, Corriere della Sera agrees:

“The populist wave is losing momentum. The wind of 2016 in the big cities, culminating in the triumph of the Grillo party [Cinque Stelle] in the 2018 parliamentary elections, could become yesterday's political reality. The collapse of the 5-Star Movement, which only mustered a third of the vote and has almost disappeared in the north, was only to be expected. The collapse of the sovereignist centre-right, however, was not. Not on the scale we witnessed yesterday, and not in Milan. Even if the massive number of abstentions casts a worrying shadow over the local elections.”

Club Z (BG) /

Leftist values on the rise

The pandemic has strengthened the left-wing parties in many European countries, Club Z concludes:

“Many people have lost their lives in the Covid pandemic, which has shaken the sense of stability and security in all Western European societies. Suddenly, countries were no longer dependent on their politicians but on their health systems. Healthcare has traditionally been a largely state-subsidised sector, and the lack of adequate policies was immediately felt in many places. ... For this reason it is quite understandable that people are returning to the leftist values of justice, equality and social protection.”