Local elections in Italy: testing the mood for 2023?

The first round of local elections took place in almost 1,000 cities in Italy on Sunday. With parliamentary elections slated for May 2023, the local elections are seen as an important test of public opinion. The right-wing nationalist party Fratelli d'Italia and the social democratic party PD emerged as the strongest parties, while Salvini's Lega party and the Five Star Movement are considered the losers.

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Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Draghi's opponents have been punished

Corriere della Sera sees the result as positive for the Italian government:

“Even though these are local elections in which citizens are essentially looking for good administrators, this election has nevertheless sent a political signal. Those political forces that try to be a little of this and a little of that, like Salvini's Lega and Conte's Cinque Stelle Movement, have been thoroughly put in their place. ... It is also clear that the centrist movements of the so-called 'Draghi sector' have asserted themselves as an electoral option, and that the stability of the centre-right and the PD put the government and its majority out of harm's way. One could say that the only real element of political instability could emerge from an internal crisis within the Lega.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

Create a credible left-of-centre alternative

The PD must make the most of its victory, urges La Repubblica:

“Enrico Letta's party is asserting itself as the only national political infrastructure in the service of a certain notion of Italy - a foundation upon which a political government as an alternative to the one proposed by the centre-right can be established. But now comes the hard part. It is clear that the option the PD has pursued so far, namely an exclusive dialogue with the Cinque Stelle Movement [now in the single digits], will no longer suffice. ... If the country is not to be left to the sovereignists, the friends of Putin and the anti-European forces, the only strategy has to be an alliance that takes the complexity and plurality of the centre-left into account.”