Category Archives: Italy
Municipal and provincial elections were held in Italy on May 15-16 and 29-30. Roughly 135 major municipalities and eleven provinces were up, most notably the second and third largest cities in Italy – Milan and Naples. Given how personalized Italian politics is (around Silvio Berlusconi, of course) since 1994, these elections were yet another referendum on Berlusconi. Berlusconi, of course, has been taking hates with ‘Rubygate’, ‘bunga-bunga’, his judicial ‘reforms’ and various other things.
Milan and Naples were the most symbolic contests. Milan has been the symbol of Berlusconi’s Italy, having been ruled by centre-right mayors since 1993, and is widely considered to be the centre of Berlusconi’s electoral machinery and his home base. Naples was counted on by the right as the certain pickup, to complete the right’s recent clean sweep of Naples province and the region of Campania. Naples has been ruled by the centre-left’s Rosa Russo Iervolino since 2001. Other major cities up for re-election in the runoffs included Trieste (PdL incumbent) and Cagliari (PdL incumbent). The left held Turin and Bologna easily in the first round two weeks ago.
The contest in Milan pitted the left’s Giuliano Pisapia against incumbent mayor PdL Letizia Moratti, in office since 2006. Giuliano Pisapia is a lawyer and former parliamentarian for Proletarian Democracy and the Communist Refoundation, and surprisingly won the PD primary despite not being a PD member thanks to strong support from Nichi Vendola’s Left-Ecology and Freedom (SEL) party. Berlusconi, himself the top candidate on the PdL list in Milan, rambled on about how Milan would be overrun by Muslims, Roms and gays if Pisapia won and derided Pisapia as a communist. Moratti, in a debate, falsely accussed Pisapia of having a conviction for a car theft. That accusation, later proven to be false, may have served to turn the table against her. In the first round, Pisapia won 48% against 41.6% for Moratti, with the UDC’s Manfredi Palmeri taking 5.5% and Mattia Calise from Beppe Grillo’s grouping taking 3.2%. Turnout was 67.6%, a number which declined only slightly to 67.4% during the runoff.
In Naples, the centre-right’s Giovanni Lettieri came out ahead two weeks ago, but with a disappointing 38.5% against a divided left. The PD’s Mario Morcone placed third with 19.15% against 27.5% for Luigi de Magistris, a former prosecutor and candidate of the Italy of Values (IdV) party. Raimondo Pasquino, the UDC/FLI candidate won 9.7% and Clemente Mastella of UDEUR won 2.2%. The results of the first round, in which turnout was 60.3%, placed Lettieri in a surprisingly feeble position if the left could unite its forces.
Here are the main runoff results:
Giuliano Pisapia (SEL-PD) 55.1%
Letizia Moratti (PdL) 44.89%
Luigi De Magistris (IdV) 65.37%
Giovanni Lettieri (PdL) 34.62%
Roberto Cosolini (PD) 57.51%
Roberto Antonione (PdL) 42.49%
Massimo Zedda (PD) 59.42%
Massimo Fantola (PdL) 40.57%
The first round saw major left-wing gains, but the runoffs saw a left-wing landslide in most of the towns and provinces up for election. In Milan, Pisapia was able to win the bulk of the UDC and Beppe Grillo’s voters, while Moratti increased her showing by only 3% from the first round. The fearmongering campaign of the PdL, accusing Pisapia of all sorts of things and talking about the gays and Muslims taking over the place backfired badly. The first round results made a left-wing victory likely in Milan, but the crushing margin was not expected and, at any rate, it remains a major symbolic blow to Berlusconi in the city which has been the symbol of right-wing Berlusconian Italy since 1993. In Naples, turnout dropped roughly 10% (turnout also dropped a lot in Trieste and Cagliari), and judging from the results there was a major enthusiasm GOTV gap between left and right. The narrative of the media between the two rounds talked extensively about how the first round had been a blow to the right, a narrative which probably motivated left-wingers to deal a blow-out blow in the runoff but demotivated right-wing voters. Lettieri won less in the runoff than in the first round, which means that not only did he fail to pickup any new voters from the centre-right UDC/FLI or UDEUR, but he also failed to hold on to a few of his first round voters. De Magistris won a landslide, all the more impressive and disastrous for the right considering how Naples was the right-wing target. The left also picked up Trieste and Cagliari, two right-wing cities, the latter of which has apparently been held by the right since World War II. La Repubblica‘s graphic tells me that the left-right balance, 73-54 in the left’s favour before these elections, turned 83-36 in the left’s favour this year.
13 of Italy’s 20 regions voted in regional elections on Sunday, March 28 and most of Monday, March 28 to elect their regional President and regional Council. All the regions which voted on the 28th and 29th are “ordinary status” regions – that is regions with less autonomy than those “home rule regions” (Sardinia, Sicily, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Aosta Valley and Friuli-Venezia Giulia) who in return keep only 20% of taxes levied. These regions were first established as autonomous entities with some legislative autonomy in 1970, and the Regional Council was originally elected entirely by proportional representation and the President of the Region was elected by council (like in France). Since 1995, regional Presidents have been elected in a separate ballot and a “majority bonus” has been added to the electoral system for Regional Councils.
Abruzzo voted in the last regional elections in 2005, but a “special election” was held in 2008 following the resignation of the incumbent. Molise also votes off-sync because of a similar situation in 2000/2001 or something.
The President is elected on an entirely separate ballot, and only a plurality suffices for him/her to be elected. Four-fifths of the regional councillors are elected by proportional representation in the context of provinces (the small number of seats in some provinces is another boost for stable majorities) where the threshold is 3% unless a list is “connected” to a “Presidential list” which has won 5% in which case it can get seats even if under 3%. The remaining fifth of seats are given to region-based “Presidential lists” which are linked directly to the Presidential candidate. This is a simplistic and cursory explanation of a very complex (typical Italian politics, I guess) electoral law. This also only applies to 8 of the 13 regions, since Calabria, Campania, Marche, Apuli and Tuscany have adopted slightly different systems.
The last election for the 5-term Regional Councils were held in 2005, when Berlusconi was in power but under an earlier cabinet. 2005 was the height of Berlusconi’s unpopularity, which did subside and led to his narrow defeat in 2006. Coming into 2005, the right was defending 8 (or 7 of the 13 up in 2010) regions against 6 for the left. Coming out of the 2005 elections, the left held 12 (or 11 excluding Abruzzo. Abruzzo is now held by the right following the 2008 election there) against only 2 (Lombardy and Veneto) for the right. 2005 was highwater mark for the right, and not a ‘normal’ or ‘average’ regional election. Turnout had been 71.4% in 2005.
In a campaign dominated by Berlusconi’s hyper-activity in the context of the campaign, the vote became a major test for Berlusconi ahead of the 2013 general elections and a mid-term plebiscite on his term. He has a 44% approval rating, but his coalition continues to lead voting intentions by a large margin. The right downplayed expectations, with major hopes on 2 regions: Calabria and Campania in the south, traditionally on the right. It also played hard in Piedmont and Lazio (which includes Rome). In Veneto and Piedmont, the right’s presidential candidate are both members of Umberto Bossi’s far-right regionalist Lega Nord, a close but very demanding ally of Berlusconi in Rome. Bossi obviously has his eyes, along with former AN leader Gianfranco Fini on the post-Berlusconi era.
Turnout was 64.2%, the lowest for such an election in a long time and significantly lower than in 2005. Here are the total results by coalition of the list vote for Regional Councils.
Right 47.58% winning 6 regions (+4)
Left 44.79% winning 7 regions (-4)
5 Star Movement 1.77%
The major point of this election is the victory of the right. Despite Berlusconi’s declining numbers, and a situation (poor economy, personal and political scandals against Berlusconi) going, one would think, fully in the left’s direction, the right has managed to win, a narrow win, but a win in unfavourable times, one would think, for Berlusconi’s right. The Italian left, which has problems of its own, such as lack of strong leadership (or of a leader with Berlusconi’s charisma and media appeal) and its inability to build momentum behind a fledgling and divided PD, has taken another defeat in an election it was supposed to win.
Within the right, the historic result of the Lega Nord (12.28%) is the major point of interest, and it provides a lot of the right’s support because support for Berlusconi’s PdL (26.78%) has declined since elections 2008-2009, but not to the benefit of the PD (26.1%), which stagnates at its 2009 level. Strong with 12% of the vote, and two regional Presidents, Umberto Bossi, with his eyes already on Berlusconi’s succession, will become a very demanding coalition partner. He has already demanded more fiscal autonomy for the north, and it is unlikely to be his last demand from Berlusconi. And with the votes behind him, Bossi has, to date, a very favourable outlook for the future. Bossi’s success is a dark spot on Berlusconi’s success in these elections.
On the left, there is not much movement since 2008-2009. While Antonio di Pietro’s anti-corruption Italy of Values (IdV) has seen its strength (8% in the Euros) subside a bit to fall to 7.27%, the PD stagnates at its 2009 level of 26.1%. The Left Ecology Freedom (SEL) of Apulian regional President Nichi Vendola wins 3%, ahead of the 2.74% won by the Communist Refoundation-led and dominated Federation of the Left. Francesco Rutelli’s splinter Alliance for Italy isn’t off to a very inspiring start with merely 0.58% of the vote.
The UDC doesn’t poll great, and it obviously isn’t going ahead much in its pursuit of a centrist governing alternative. But its support was likely helpful for the right and left in the regions where it didn’t run independently (in all regions where it didn’t run independently, it supported the eventual winner in all regions but Piedmont). It’s strategy of ‘geometrically variable alliances’, with left here and right here seems to be sustainable for the UDC in the future, and it could give idea to Bayrou across the border in France.
The success of the 5 Star Movement, led by the popular comedian Beppe Grillo, is also notable. It’s success comes on the back of young disaffected voters (or left-leaning young voters) who, with Grillo’s new movement, registered a vote against the PDL-PD party system and against the stock of politicians, uninspiring to them and many, on left and right alike. The high number of non-voters is also a sign of discontent with Berluconi, but discontent also with the current Italian left.
Overall, Berlusconi wins, and that’s undeniable, but the division of the left and the left’s inability to present itself as something new and stand for change plays an important role in his victory. Furthermore, his victory is clouded by the Lega’s very strong showing, something which will likely spell trouble in the future for Berlusconi.
Here are the results by region. Indicated in brackets are the number of seats won by the presidential candidate’s coalition.
Nicola Vendola (SEL-PD) 48.69% (47)
Rocco Palese (PdL) 42.25% (27)
Adriana Poli Bortone (IS-UDC) 8.71% (4)
Michele Rizzi (PdAC) 0.35%
Nichi Vendola, a gay communist, had won the first ever primary elections in Italy in 2005 ahead of the regionals, and his victory against the right’s incumbent in a conservative and very Catholic region had been a major surprise then. Vendola remains outside of the PD, and he is now the leader of a new party (he left the Communist Refoundation Party in 2008 following his defeat in a leadership v0te) called Left Ecology Freedom (SEL). He easily won the PD primaries and faced two candidates: the unknown candidate of the PdL and UDC Senator Adriana Poli Bortone, leader of a local Apulia-based outfit called Io Sud (I South). Vendola has seemingly managed to build up a strong base in Apulia, which is somewhat surprising, but in southern Italy, which is quite pro-incumbent, the candidate often matters more than party.
The left scores 46.05% on the council vote (46 seats), against 44.22% for the right (26 seats) and 9.43% for the UDC (4 seats). Vendola’s SEL wins 9.74% and 11 seats.
Vito De Filippo (PD-UDC) 60.81% (19)
Nicola Pagliuca (PdL) 27.92% (10)
Magdi Allam (Io amo Italia) 8.72% (1)
Marco Toscano (MPI) 0.7%
Florenzo Doino (PCL) 0.21%
Basilicata, although located in southern Italy, has tended to the left since the beginnings of the so-called Second Republic (likely due to its poverty, Basilicata is one of the south’s poorest regions), but it conserves certain traits common to southern Italian politics, such as pro-incumbency. De Filippo, elected by a large margin in 2005 (67% of the votes) has been re-elected by a smaller but similarly large margin. Magdi Allam, a famous ex-Muslim Italian journalist and UDC MEP (now famous for his strong views against Islam and his defense of Judeo-Christian values) won 8.7% and one seat, though the UDC was associated with the left. In fact, most politicians on the left in this region are former members of DC, which was strong in the region and throughout southern Italy.
The left has 67.56% of the votes in the council election (16 seats) against 27.24% for the right (9 seats) and 4.26% for Magdi Allam’s I Love Italy-Io Sud coalition which wins one seat. Behind De Filippo, the UDC won 7.39% of the vote and 2 seats but IdV won 9.93%.
Giuseppe Scopelliti (PdL-UDC) 57.76% (29)
Agazio Loiero (PD) 32.22% (16)
Filippo Callipo (IdV) 10.02% (3)
Calabria, a traditionally conservative region in southern Italy, switched to the left in 2005 but it has returned to the right by a large margin. The incumbent, who was seeking a second term, found an IdV candidate on his way, possibly the result of Loiero’s problems with the judiciary recently (though he was acquitted of corruption for lack of proof). However, the popularity of the right’s candidate, who is the popular mayor of Reggio Calabria probably explains a lot more about the right’s crushing victory in the region.
On the local vote, the PdL has 26.39% of the votes against 15.79% for the PD. A “non-party” list which supports Scopelliti (such lists are quite common in Italian regions) won 9.94%. In an old stronghold of Christian democracy, the UDC has 9.39% (far ahead of IdV, only 5.39% for its lists despite over 10% for its candidate – who was a famous and popular local businessman).
Stefano Caldoro (PdL-UDC) 54.25% (38)
Vincenzo De Luca (PD) 43.04% (21)
Paolo Ferrero (PRC) 1.35%
Roberto Fico (5 Star Movement) 1.34%
Incumbent Antonio Bassolino (PD), a popular former mayor of Naples is retiring after 2 consecutive terms. First elected in 2000, he won re-election in 2005 by a large margin (61.6% against 34.4% for the right) for a region which typically leans to the right. However, with Bassolino leaving office with a relatively poor second-term record and the left faced with a former Socialist (PSI, a party which was socialist in name only in later years) cabinet minister, it had little hope going into the vote. The presence of a candidate for the so-called 5 Star Movement, a party launched by popular Italian comedian Beppe Grillo and which builds up on young voters’ discontent with the PD-PDL party system.
The right has 58.6% of the votes for the regional council (38 seats) against 38.5% for the left (21 seats) and 1.56% for the PRC. The old UDEUR, which semi-died after precipitating Prodi’s fall in 2006, made a comeback in their stronghold with 3.35% region-wide and 2 seats on the right’s slate. Caldoro, who is actually a member of the Nuovo PSI allowed a Nuovo PSI list to take 5.79% of the vote and 4 seats. The far-right La Destra, associated with the right nowadays, wins one seat with barely 1% of the vote. On the left’s slate, Franceso Rutelli’s new party, Alliance for Italy won 3.04% but no seats.
Vasco Errani (PD) 52.06% (32)
Anna Maria Bernini (PdL) 36.72% (15)
Giovanni Favia (5 Star Movement) 7.0% (2)
Gian Luca Galleti (UDC) 4.2% (1)
Emilia-Romagna, a part of the Red Quadrilateral of central Italy, is a stronghold of the left. Vasco Errani, seeking a third term, had won 62.7% of the vote in 2005 faced no trouble from the right. But the campaign was rather fair play, and the candidates of both major coalitions and the UDC held a joint press-conference at one time before the election. These factors plus youth discontent with the Italian political system probably gave fuel to the Beppe Grillo movement, which, with 7% of the vote and 2 seats, wins its best result in the country.
The PD dominates the list vote with 40.64% and 18 seats, with the left standing overall at 51.92% (22 seats) against 38.31% for the right (14 seats), 6% for Grillo and 3.75% for the UDC. In a region where the Communist Party used to dominate, the PRC and its allies win only 2.79% of the vote and is left with 1 seat. However, the Lega Nord, breaks through into central Italy with a record 13.67% and 4 seats in the region, more ‘central’ than ‘northern’.
Renata Polverini (PdL-UDC) 51.14% (44)
Emma Bonino (PD-Radical) 48.32% (29)
Marzia Marzoli (Rete) 0.53%
The race in Lazio, which includes Rome, was the big race. Piero Marrazzo (PD) was elected in 2005, defeating the right’s incumbent Francesco Storace (now leader of La Destra) with 50.7% of the votes against 47.4% for Storace. Marrazzo resigned in October 2009 before a sexual scandal was going to break, leaving the region without a leader and the left without a candidate. A number of names were evoked for the PD’s candidacy, including Walter Veltroni, before former European Commissioner and leader of the Radical Party Emma Bonino got the spot. She faced right-wing trade unionist Renata Polverini (who had problems handing in her candidacy on time, fixed in time by Berlusconi’s government). Despite leading in all polls and early returns, Polverini defeated Bonino probably on basis of the votes of Rome’s suburbs (Bonino won the province of Rome itself). The right’s victory here is a major gain, given that it includes Rome.
The right has 51.38% (30 seats) against 48.29% for the left (28 seats) in the list vote. A surprising thing is that Polverini’s ‘non-party list’ dominates the list vote on the right with 26.33% and 17 seats against only 11.86% for the PdL. Storace’s La Destra, with 3.99%, wins 2 seats in a region which has traditionally been the base of Italy’s post-fascist movements (MSI and later AN). On the left, the Panella-Bonino/Radical list wins 3.3% and 2 seats, though the PD with 26.28% wins it for the left. IdV, with 8.61%, also does well.
Claudio Burlando (PD-UDC) 52.14% (25)
Sandro Biasotti (PdL) 47.85% (15)
A repeat of the 2005 race between Burlando and Biasotti in a region polarized between two different political regions: the east around Genoa, far more industrial, on the left; and the west, wealthier and less industrial on the right. Biasotti had been President between 2000 and 2005 until he was defeated 46.6-52.6 by Burlando in 2005. The same pattern repeated itself in 2005 with a similar margin and similarly divided map, but the left won. Liguria wasn’t one of the right’s major targets, so losing it won’t be considered bad for it.
The left has 52.72% (17 seats) against 47.27% (14 seats) for the right’s coalition in the list vote. Lega Nord, with 10.22% polls below national average (but higher than in the 2009 Euros), but Liguria, although northern, isn’t a strong region for the Lega Nord, which does better in mountainous areas. It remains funny to see the LN doing better in Emilia-Romagna, a ‘central’ region than in Liguria, more northern.
Roberto Formigoni (PdL) 56.1% (49)
Filippo Penati (PD) 33.27% (28)
Savino Pezzotta (UDC) 4.68% (3)
Vito Crimi (5 Star Movement) 3%
Vittorio Agnoletto (PRC) 2.36%
Gianmario Invernizzi (FN) 0.57%
Lombardy, and its 9.6 million inhabitants, is Italy’s most populous regions and includes the industrial capital of Italy, Milan. Lombardy is also a stronghold of the right, and had been one of the right’s two regions won in 2005. Formigoni, now seeking a fourth term, won 53.9% against 43.2% for the left in 2005. There were some judicial problems with Formigoni’s candidacy for a fourth term, given that the law limits Presidents to two terms for directly-elected Presidents (Formigoni was indirectly elected in 1995). He argued that the law was not in force in 2000, when he was elected, but his victory may be overturned. Yet, he dominates by a huge margin: 56% against a mere 33% for the left’s candidate, hurt by Grillo’s candidate at 3%, the PRC at 2.4% and the UDC at nearly 5%. Formigoni’s 8-seat majority bonus includes Nicole Minetti, a former showgirl and Berlusconi’s dental hygienist…
On the list vote, the right has 58.15% (41 seats) against 33.34% for the left (27 seats) and 3.84% for the UDC (3 seats). In Umberto Bossi and the Lega Lombarda’s birthplace, Bossi’s party wins a record 26.2% of the vote and 18 seats, pushing the LN ahead of the PD (22.89%), although the PD holds more seats (21) than the LN. The party also wins strong results in its base in the Pedemontana of Lombardy: 42.4% in Sondrio, 36.9% in Bergamo, and even up to 17.25% in the province of Milan.
Gian Mario Spacca (PD-UDC) 53.17% (25)
Erminio Marinelli (PdL) 39.71% (14)
Massimo Rossi (PRC) 7.11% (2)
Marche is largely within Italy’s Red Quadrilateral, and has been held by the left since the first direct elections for President in 1995. First elected in 2005, Spacca had defeated the right with 57.8% of the vote then. However, the independent candidacy of a communist, which managed to poll a respectable 7%, probably due to the fact that the communist candidate (supported by the PRC and its allies as well as Vendola’s SEL) is a former provincial president (Ascoli Piceno, where he polled 9.1% of the vote).
On the list vote, the left has 53.36% (25 seats) against 40.12% for the right (14 seats) and 6.51% for the communists (2 seats). Lega Nord, with a record 6.32% and 2 seats breaks through in a region which is quite far from the party’s bases in the north, showing that the Lega is slowly breaking through in central Italy. On the left, Rutelli’s Alliance for Italy wins 2.01% and 1 seat while IdV does well with 9.06% and 4 seats.
Roberto Cota (LN-PdL) 47.32% (36)
Mercedes Bresso (PD-UDC) 46.90% (22)
Davide Bono (5 Star Movement) 4.08% (2)
Renzo Rabellino (Lega Padana) 1.67%
Piedmont, which usually leans to the right despite the left’s strength in Turin, was narrowly gained by the leftist Mercedes Bresso from the right’s incumbent Enzo Ghigo in 2005 with 50.9% against 47.1% for the right. Piedmont was a key region for the right, but one where the right’s top candidate was from the Lega Nord: in this case, Roberto Cota, the leader of the Lega’s local branch. Despite polls favouring the left and early results also favourable to the left, Bresso ended up losing by a very narrow margin to Cota, though the swing to the right in Piedmont was not as large as in some other places, probably a result of some voters (notably UDC voters, the UDC supported Bresso despite her atheism) on the centre-right being reticent about voting for a Leghista candidate. Another factor which contributed to Bresso’s defeat was the strong showing of the 5 Star Movement, whose 4% probably hindered Bresso as most voters, one would assume, are left-leaning.
In the list vote, the left is ahead with 47.54% (21 seats), but the right with 46.98% has more seats (24). The 5 Star Movement, with 3.66%, wins two seats while the bunch of fascists, eurosceptics and others behind Rabellino win 1.8% and obviously no seats. On the right, the Lega Nord wins 16.74% and 9 seats, a good result for a region where the Lega is weaker (compared to Lombardy and Veneto). On the left, the UDC, with 3.92% wins only 2 seats, a rather bad result for them.
Enrico Rossi (PD) 59.73% (32)
Monica Faenzi (PdL) 34.44% (19)
Francesco Bosi (UDC) 4.59% (2)
Alfonso de Virgiliis (Radical) 1.15%
Ilario Palmisani (FN) 0.69%
Tuscany is at the core of Italy’s Red Quadrilateral, and has been a stronghold of the PCI first and the post-1992 left. It is also the region where the various communist parties formed after the PCI’s collapse have found their strongest support, a base which allowed them to run independently of the left in 2005 and win 7% of the vote. The incumbent, Claudio Martini, re-elected in 2005 with 57.37% of the vote against 32.8% for the right, was retiring in favour of Enrico Rossi. With 59.7%, he wins the left’s second best result after its crushing victory in Basilicata.
The left does even better on the list vote with 60.7% and 19 seats, while the right has 33.6% and 13 seats and the UDC has 4.8% and 1 seat. Tuscany uses an absurdly complex electoral system, which seems to shut out all other parties on the left than the PD (42.2%), including IdV (9.4%) and the communists (5.27%). However, IdV gets 5 other seats somewhere while 3 go to the communist list (PRC). On the right, Lega Nord wins a record 6.48% and gets 2 seats.
Catiuscia Marini (PD) 57.24% (19)
Fiammetta Modena (PdL) 37.70% (10)
Paola Binetti (UDC) 5.05% (1)
The small inland region of Umbria, sandwiched between the Lazio and Marche, is sometimes called the “Mezzogiorno of central Italy” and falls entirely within the Red Quadrilateral. The left’s incumbent, Maria Rita Lorenzetti, who won 63% in 2005, is retiring after 2 terms. The PD’s candidate, the young Catiuscia Marini had no trouble succeeding her in a very left-wing region. With 57%, she trounces the right which polls 37.7% (still higher than its 33.7% in 2005).
On the list vote, the left polls 58.91% (13 seats) against 36.7% for the right and 4.38% for the UDC. The PRC achieves an honourable result of 6.86% and 2 seats, while a socialist list on the left’s slate wins 4.16% and 1 seat. On the right, again a breakthrough for Lega Nord, which wins 4.33% and 1 seat in its weakest region (where it’s organized, at least).
Luca Zaia (LN-PdL) 60.15% (37)
Giuseppe Bortolussi (PD) 29.07% (19)
Antonio De Poli (UDC) 6.38% (4)
David Borrelli (5 Star Movement) 3.15%
Silvato Polo (Veneti Independensa) 0.5%
Paolo Caratossidis (FN) 0.36%
Gianluca Panto (Partito nasional veneto) 0.35%
A conservative, generally rural and Catholic region, Veneto was one of the right’s two victories in 2005, thanks in part to the popularity of its incumbent, Giancarlo Galan who won 50.6% of the vote against 42.4% for the left. However, after 3 terms in office, Giancarlo Galan was forced to step aside by the right in favour of a candidate from Lega Nord (very strong in the region), Luca Zaia who is also Berlusconi’s incumbent Agriculture Minister. Zaia, who is also very popular, including with traditionally left-wing voters, was seen by all on the right as the best candidate and Galan was forced to step aside. Galan’s forced retirement led to an independent UDC candidacy around former MEP and incumbent deputy Antonio De Poli, who polled a respectable but disappointing 6% (some polls had given him over 10%). Zaia is the only candidate of the right to win over 60% of the vote.
The right has 60.7% on the list vote (31 seats) against 29.32% (18 seats) for the left, 6.46% (4 seats) for the UDC and 2.57% for the 5 Star Movement. The Lega Nord in Veneto wins its best result ever with 35.15% and 18 seats, far ahead of the PdL which has only 24.74% and 13 seats. The party even wins a staggering 48.5% in the province of Treviso, an old stronghold of the local LN and also Zaia’s home province.
Provincial and communal elections:
Four provincial elections (L’Aquila, Caserta, Viterbo, and Imperia) were also held as well as a number of communal elections in cities including Venice. In the four provinces up, all were ruled by the left except Imperia. Now, all are ruled by the right. In L’Aquila, which suffered a large earthquake over a year ago, the right has won a lot of support in the province thanks to its rebuilding efforts, and L’Aquila logically switched to the right, with the right winning 53.4%. In Caserta, the right won 64.4%, picking up the province from a retiring PD incumbent. In Viterbo, the right won 54.7%, also picking up an open seat. In Imperia finally, the right, with 59%, holds an open seat. Full results on La Repubblica.
A vast number of municipalities held elections, in fact all regions except the special status had some municipalities up for re-election. La Repubblica states that of the major cities up, the left was defending 44 and the right 28 (2 were held by the centre and 1 was held by an independent ‘civic’ list). After the first round, the left has 15 against 18 for the right and 40 will go into a runoff.
The race in Venice was the most watched of all, with incumbent PD mayor Massimo Cacciari retiring. The right’s candidate was none else than Berlusconi’s popular and bubbly Public Administration Minister, Renato Brunetta. He faced the left’s Giorgio Orsoni. In a somewhat surprising result, Orsoni defeated Brunetta with 51.1% against 42.6% for Brunetta, a result which will be a bright spot on a bad day for the left.
Other than that, the left picked up Lecco while the right picked up Chieti and Andria. A majority of municipalities will hold a runoff on April 11 and 12. Trentino-Alto-Adige holds local elections on May 16 with runoffs on May 30. Full results on La Repubblica.
Italy held three referendums and runoff elections for a number of provinces and municipalities on Sunday and Monday June 21 and 22, 2009.
The three-fold referendum seeked to change the majority bonus in Italian general elections from a coalition bonus to a bonus for the largest party. This part was Question 1 (Chamber) and 2 (Senate). Question 3 would prevent candidates from standing in multiple constituencies. Questions 1 and 2 would gradually transform Italy into a two-party (PD and PdL) system and weaken these parties’ respective coalition allies (IdV and Lega Nord). The PD supports this, Berlusconi privately supports it but didn’t campaign in favour since he didn’t want to piss off his Lega Nord (very picky) allies. The referendum required 50% turnout to pass.
Turnout was only 23%, so the referendums were invalid.
There were 22 provincial runoffs, out of 62 provinces voting (the first round being held the same day as the Euros). Provinces have relatively few powers, much less powers than the regions do atleast. Most of these provinces (two, I think, were new) voted in 2004 – which was a peak in anti-Berlusconi sentiment – the left won 50 and the right won 9 (including 1 Lega Nord won independently of the Italian right). 2009 could only be a realignment and return to electoral normalcy.
In notable provincial results, the left held Torino by an impressive margin and narrowly lost Milan, Venice, and Lecce. The right’s narrow victory in Milan and Venice – two traditionally right-wing provinces – is good news for the left.
The left won very pleasing results in the local elections, they won 16 of the provincial capitals voting, the right won 14. In other cities, the left won 107, the right won 70. 12 cities were won by Independent lists (Lista Civica), 3 by the Lega Nord (independently of the right), and 3 by the centre (UDC). In the first round, the right had forced the left into runoffs in Florence and Bologna, in which the left ate the right’s candidates alive. The left also won Bari and Padova, other pleasing results for them.
There was an undeniable shift to the left in these runoffs, and this saves the PD from extinction, and some predicted that very poor elections would spell the end of the PD experiment.
Here is the first post in a series of posts concerning the various Euro results from June 7. The results for the major parties winning seats (or not, in a few cases) are presented here, along with a very brief statistical analysis of what happened. If applicable, a map of the results is also presented. Again, except for the Germany map, all of these maps are my creations.
ÖVP 30% (-2.7%) winning 6 seats (nc)
SPÖ 23.8% (-9.5%) winning 4 seats (-3)
HP Martin’s List 17.7% (+3.7%) winning 3 seats (+1)
FPÖ 12.8% (+6.5%) winning 2 seats (+1)
Greens 9.7% (-3.2%) winning 2 seats (nc)
As I expected, the junior partner in government, the centre-right ÖVP came out on top but the most surprising was the ÖVP’s decisive margin of victory over its senior partner, the social democratic SPÖ. In fact, the SPÖ, like the German SPD, has won its worst result since 1945. This is probably due to a poor campaign a poor top candidate – Hannes Swoboda. Swoboda ranted against job losses and outsourcing when he himself did the same thing to his employees at Siemens. The good result came from Hans-Peter Martin’s anti-corruption outfit, which got a third seat and increased it’s vote. While improving on its poor 2004 result, the far-right FPÖ is far from the 17.5% it won in the 2008 federal elections. A lot is due to abstention (anti-Euro voters being a large contingent of the abstentionists) and also Martin’s success. The Greenies have unsurprisingly fallen, though they held their second seat due to late (and still incoming) postal votes. The BZÖ of the late Jorg Haider fell just short of the threshold, and it did not win Haider’s Carinthian stronghold. Turnout was 45.3%, slightly up on 2004.
GERB 24.36% (+2.68%) winning 5 seats (nc)
BSP 18.5% (-2.91%) winning 4 seats (-1)
DPS 14.14% (-6.12%) winning 3 seats (-1)
Attack 11.96% (-2.24%) winning 2 seats (-1)
NDSV 7.96% (+1.89%) winning 2 seats (+1)
Blue Coalition (UDF and DSB) 7.95% (-1.14%) winning 1 seat (+1)
The pro-European centre-right GERB won, as in 2007, defeating the Socialists (BSP, officialy grouped with smaller parties in the ‘Coalition for Bulgaria’). The Turkish minority party DPS fell significantly compared to its surprisingly excellent 2007 result. This is due to higher turnout and to competition (by Lider) in the very active vote buying market in Bulgaria. The liberal NDSV led by former Bulgarian monarch Simeon II came back from the dead to win 2 seats and increase its vote share – all this due to a top candidate who had a high personal profile and popularity in an election where person and popularity are very important.
Democratic Rally 35.7% (+7.5%) winning 2 seats
AKEL 34.9% (+7%) winning 2 seats
Democratic Party 12.3% (-4.8%) winning 1 seat
Movement for Social Democracy 9.9% (-0.9%) winning 1 seat (+1)
European Party 4.1% (-6.7%) winning 0 seats (-1)
To my surprise, the opposition centre-right (albeit pro-reunification) DISY defeated the governing communist AKEL. However, both parties increased their share of the vote compared to 2004, mainly on the back of the centrist anti-reunification DIKO and the Social Democrats (who won a seat due to the collapse of the liberal European Party).
Civic Democrats (ODS) 31.45% (+1.41%) winning 9 seats (±0)
Social Democrats (ČSSD) 22.38% (+13.6%) winning 7 seats (+5)
Communist Party (KSČM) 14.18% (-6.08%) winning 4 seats (-2)
KDU-ČSL 7.64% (-1.93%) winning 2 seats (±0)
Of the shocking results of the night, the Czech result was a shocker to me. I had predicted the Social Democrats to win all along (most polls agreed, albeit very late polls showed a narrow ODS lead), and you have this very large ODS victory that really comes out of the blue. This is really quite a piss poor result for the ČSSD and its controversial and, in my opinion, poor, leader, Jiří Paroubek. I wasn’t surprised by the results of either the Communists (on a tangent, the KSČM is the only formerly ruling communist party which hasn’t changed it name and it remains very much stuck in 1950) or the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL). The KSČM’s loses were predictable because 2004 was an especially fertile year for them (the ČSSD was in government, a very unpopular government). Two small parties which won seats in 2004 – the centre-right SNK European Democrats (11.02% and 2 seats) and the far-right populist Independents (8.18% and 2 seats) suffered a very painful death this year. The SNK polled 1.66%, the Independents (most of which were Libertas candidates) won 0.54%. The Greens, a parliamentary party, won a very deceiving result – 2.06%. This is probably due to turnout, which remained at 28%.
Social Democrats 21.49 % (-11.1%) winning 4 seats (-1)
Venstre 20.24% (+0.9%) winning 3 seats (nc)
Socialist People’s Party 15.87% (+7.9%) winning 2 seats (+1)
Danish People’s Party 15.28% (+8.5%) winning 2 seats (+1)
Conservative People’s Party 12.69% (+1.3%) winning 1 seat (nc)
People’s Movement Against the EU 7.20% (+2.0%) winning 1 seat (nc)
Social Liberal Party 4.27% (-2.1%) winning 0 seats (-1)
June Movement 2.37% (-6.7%) winning 0 seats (-1)
Liberal Alliance 0.59%
Red: SD, Blue: Venstre, Purple: SF, Green: DF
No real surprise in the Danish results, which were as I expected them to be. The Social Democrats drop compared to their superb 2004 showing was to be expected, obviously. Obviously, these loses were profitable not to the government (Venstre, Liberals) but to the Socialists (SF) and the far-right (DF). SF and DF have won their best result in any Danish election, either European or legislative. The June Movement, the second anti-EU movement which is in decline since it’s shock 16% in 1999, has lost its sole remaining MEP. The older (and leftier) People’s Movement has picked up some of the June Movement’s vote, though its results are far from excellent. Despite an electoral alliance with the Social Democrats, the Social Liberals (Radikal Venstre) lost its MEP.
Centre 26.1% winning 2 seats (+1)
Indrek Tarand (Ind) 25.8% winning 1 seat (+1)
Reform 15.3% winning 1 seat (±0)
Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica 12.2% winning 1 seat (±0)
Social Democrats 8.7% winning 1 seat (-2)
Estonian Greens 2.7%
Turnout was up 17% in Estonia over 2004, reaching 44% (26.8% in 2004), correcting the weird result of 2004 which saw the normally weak Social Democrats come out on top. However, the surprising result here was Reform’s rout (compared to the 2007 general elections) at the profit of Indrek Tarand, a popular independent. The opposition Centre Party, however, came out on top. However, the map clearly shows that Tarand took votes from all places – Centre, Reform, right, Greenies (winning a very deceiving 2.7%), and Social Democrats. The Centre came out on top purely due to the Russian vote in Ida-Viru and in Tallinn, the capital (despite the name, the Centre performs very well in urban areas – it’s not at all a rural centrist party a la Finland).
National Coalition 23.2% (-0.5%) winning 3 seats (-1)
Centre 19% (-4.4%) winning 3 seats (-1)
Social Democratic Party 17.5% (-3.7%) winning 2 seats (-1)
Greens 12.4% (+2%) winning 2 seats (+1)
True Finns 9.8% (+9.3%) winning 1 seat (+1)
Swedish People’s Party 6.1% (+0.4%) winning 1 seat (nc)
Left Alliance 5.9% (-3.2%) winning 0 seats (-1)
Christian Democrats 4.2% (-0.1%) winning 1 seat (+1)
No surprises from Finland, which came out roughly as expected. The junior partner in government, the centre-right National Coalition (Kok) defeated its senior partner, the agrarian liberal Centre Party. However, the Finnish left (SDP and Left) suffered a very cold shower, winning its worst result in years. The Left even lost its sole MEP. A lot of that left-wing vote probably went to the Greenies (who won a very good result) and also the anti-immigration True Finns (in coalition with the Christian Democrats, which allowed the Christiandems to get one MEP). The Swedish People’s Party ended up holding its seat. The map is quite typical of Finnish elections, with the agrarian Centre dominating in the sparsely populated north and the National Coalition dominating in middle-class urban (Helsinki, where they narrowly beat out the Greenies for first) and suburban areas. The Swedish vote is concentrated on the Åland islands (over 80% of the vote for them) but also in small fishing communities on the west coast of Finland (which does not show up on the map).
CDU/CSU 30.7% + 7.2% (-6.6%) winning 42 seats (-7)
SPD 20.8% (-0.7%) winning 23 seats (nc)
Greens 12.1% (+0.2%) winning 14 seats (+1)
Free Democrats 11% (+4.9%) winning 12 seats (+5)
The Left 7.6% (+1.5%) winning 8 seats (+1)
In the EU’s most populated country, the Social Democrats took a major hit by failing to gain anything after the SPD’s horrible (worst since 1945) result in 2004. Overall, the Christian Democrats (CDU) of Chancellor Angela Merkel and its Bavarian sister, the CSU, won as in 2004 but their vote also took a hit (the CDU/CSU was a popular opposition party then, they’re the senior government party now). The winners were of course the Greens, who held on to their remarkable 2004 result and in fact gained a 14th MEP, but certainly the right-liberal Free Democrats (FDP). The Left also gained slightly compared to 2004. The Left’s map remains largely a map of the old DDR but, for the first time, you have darker shades appearing in the West – specifically in the industrial regions of the Saar, the Ruhr and Bremen city. In the end the CSU had no problems with the 5% threshold and they won a relatively decent (compared to most recent results, not 2004 or 2006) result – 48% – in Bavaria. Frei Wahler took 6.7% in Bavaria, and 1.7% federally.
PASOK 36.64% (+2.61%) winning 8 seats (nc)
New Democracy 32.29% (-10.72%) winning 8 seats (-3)
Communist Party 8.35% (-1.13%) winning 2 seats (-1)
Popular Orthodox Rally 7.14% (+3.02%) winning 2 seats (+1)
Coalition of the Radical Left 4.7% (+0.54%) winning 1 seat (nc)
Ecologist Greens 3.49% (+2.88%) winning 1 seat (+1)
Pan-Hellenic Macedonian Front 1.27%
No Greek surprise overall, though the Greenies’ poor result could be one. As expected, the opposition ‘socialist’ PASOK defeated the governing unpopular and corrupt right-wing New Democracy. However, there remains no great love for PASOK, partly due to the fact that both ND and PASOK are very similar. The Communist Party (KKE), one of Europe’s most communist communist parties (it still lives in 1951, decrying bourgeois and capitalists), won 8.35%, slightly above its 2007 electoral result but below the KKE’s excellent 2004 result (over 9%). The surprise came from LAOS and the Greens. The Greenies, who were polling 8-11% in the last polls, fell to a mere 3% partly due to a controversial video by the Green Party leader who said that Macedonia (FYROM, the country) should be allowed to keep its name (s0mething which does not go down well in Greece). Most of the Green strength in polls came from disenchanted ND supporters who ended up voting LAOS (the ultra-Orthodox kooks). The Radical Left (SYRIZA) won a rather poor result, probably due to the fact that it is seen as responsible for the violence and lootings during the 2008 riots in Athens.
Fidesz 56.36% winning 14 seats (+2)
Socialist 17.37% winning 4 seats (-5)
Jobbik 14.77% winning 3 seats (+3)
Hungarian Democratic Forum 5.31% winning 1 seat (nc)
The surprise in Hungary came from the spectacular result of the far-right quasi-Nazi Jobbik (which has its own private militia), which did much better than any poll or exit poll had predicted. Jobbik’s results significantly weakened the conservative Fidesz which won “only” 56% (down from 65-70% in some polls). The governing Socialist MSZP took a spectacular thumping, as was widely expected. While the right-wing MDF held its seat, the liberal SZDSZ (f0rmer coalition partner in the MSZP-led government until 2008) lost both of its seats.
Fine Gael 29.1% (+1.3%) winning 4 seats (-1)
Fianna Fáil 24.1% (-5.4%) winning 3 seats (-1)
Labour 13.9% (+3.4%) winning 3 seats (+2)
Sinn Féin 11.2% (+0.1%) winning 0 seats (-1)
Libertas 3.1% (new) winning 0 seats (new)
Socialist 1.5% (+0.2%) winning 1 seat (+1)
Green Party 1.1% (-3.2%)
As expected, Fine Gael came out on top of FPVs in Ireland, inflicting a major defeat on the governing Fianna Fáil. Fianna Fáil, did not, however, slip to third behind Labour as some pollsters made it seem. This is due in a large part due to Labour’s complete lack of organization in most rural areas. In Dublin, both Fine Gael and Labour incumbents made it through without much sweat. The race, as expected, was for the third seat between the Fianna Fáil incumbent (Eoin Ryan), Socialist leader Joe Higgins and the Sinn Féin incumbent (Mary Lou McDonald). Surprisingly, Sinn Féin was the first out leaving the final seat between Ryan and Higgins. In the end, Higgins got the quasi-entirety of McDonald’s transferable votes and defeated Ryan with 82,366 votes against 76,956 votes for Ryan on the 7th count. Former Greenie (against the party’s participation in government) Patricia McKenna won 4.3% on first preferences against 4.7% against the official Greenie (however, further transfers from joke candidates got McKenna all the way to count 5, while the Greenie got out by count 3). In the East, Fine Gael’s Mairead McGuinness got elected on the first count, quite the feat indeed. However, no luck for Fine Gael’s second candidate in holding the third seat held by a retiring Fine Gael incumbent. Labour’s Nessa Childers, second on first prefs, far outpolled John Paul Phelan (FG’s second candidate) and got the second seat. Fianna Fáil held its seat. In the North-West, all incumbents (1 Independent ALDE, 1 FF, 1 FG) held their seats with Marian Harkin (Ind-ALDE) topping the poll (however, both Fianna Fáil candidates combined outpolled him and Fine Gael’s MEP). The founder and leader of Libertas, Declan Ganley polled a respectable 13.66% on FPVs and held out till the last count but lost out to Fine Gael due to rather poor transfers from the other anti-Lisbon outfit, SF. In the South, FF incumbent Brian Crowley topped the poll and won easily, as did Sean Kelly (FG). The third seat was between the incumbent Independent (eurosceptic and social conservative) Kathy Sinnott and Labour’s Alan Kelly. Kelly won.
In the local elections, the final seat share is as follows:
Fine Gael 340 seats (+47)
Fianna Fáil 218 seats (-84)
Labour 132 seats (+31)
Others and Indies 132 seats (+40)
Sinn Féin 54 seats (nc)
Socialist 4 seats (nc)
Green Party 3 seats (-15)
People of Freedom 35.26% winning 29 seats
Democratic Party 26.13% winning 21 seats
Lega Nord 10.20% winning 9 seats
Italy of Values 8.00% winning 7 seats
Union of the Centre 6.51% winning 5 seats
Communists (PRC+PdCI) 3.38% winning 0 seats
Sinistra e Libertà 3.12% winning 0 seats
Italian Radicals (Bonino-Pannella List) 2.42% winning 0 seats
Pole of Autonomy (La Destra+MPA) 2.22% winning 0 seats
South Tyrolean’s People Party 0.46% winning 1 seat
Berlusconi Coalition (PdL+LN+Autonomy) 47.68% winning 38 seats
PD Coalition (PD-SVP+IdV+Radicals) 37.01% winning 29 seats
Red: PD, Blue: PdL, Green: Lega Nord, Yellow in Aosta Valley: Valdotanian Union (PdL ally), Yellow in Sudtirol: SVP (PD ally)
The Italian results were certainly a setback for Silvio Berlusconi and his “party”, the PdL, which performed a bit lower than what he and polls had expected (38-41% range). The centre-left PD did relatively well, and this will atleast keep the party from splitting up into the old Democrats of the Left and the Daisy. In terms of coalitions, the two large parliamentary blocs stand almost exactly where they stood overall in 2008, with a very very slight improvement for Berlusconi’s coalition. The marking result of this election is probably that of Lega Nord, which has won its best result in any national Italian election (narrowly beating its previous record, 10.1% in the 1996 general election). The Lega has expanded its support to the “south” (north-central Italy), notably polling 11% in Emilia-Romagna and 4% in Tuscany. The support and future of Lega Nord is to be watched closely in the future, due to a potential new electoral law which could significantly hinder it’s parliamentary representation (more on that later). The other good result is from Antonio di Pietro’s strongly anti-Berlusconi and anti-corruption populist Italia dei Valori, which has won its best result ever, by far. It has almost doubled its support since last year’s general election. After being shutout of Parliament in 2008, the Communists and other leftie parties (Socialists and Greens) are now out of the European Parliament, depsite improving quite a bit on the Rainbow’s 2008 result. Of the two coalitions, the old Communist one made up of the Refoundation Commies and the smaller Italian Commies polled slightly better than the Sinistra e libertà, the “New Left” coalition (Greenies, Socialists, moderate “liberal” Commies). Such was to be expected, but the irony is that both leftie coalitions were formed to surpass the new 4% threshold, and none did. However, if there had been a new Rainbow coalition (the 2008 Rainbow included both the hardline Commies and the New Left), they would have made it. As expected, those small parties which won seats in 2004 due to the old electoral law have been eliminated. These include the fascists, La Destra-Sicilian autonomists/crooks, and the Radicals. The South Tyrolean SVP only held its seat due to an electoral clause which allows these “minority parties” to ally with a party to win a seat. The SVP was the only one of these which was successful in doing so. Two smaller Valdotanian parties (one allied with PdL, the other with IdV) failed to win a seat. In provincial elections held the same days, the right was very successful and of the forty provinces decided by the first round, they had won 26 against 14 for the left. 22 provinces will have a runoff. I might do a post on that if I have time.
Civic Union 24.33% winning 2 seats (+2)
Harmony Centre 19.57% winning 2 seats (+2)
PCTVL – For Human Rights in United Latvia 9.66% winning 1 seat (nc)
Latvia’s First Party/Latvia’s Way 7.5% winning 1 seat (nc)
For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK 7.45% winning 1 seat (-3)
New Era 6.66% winning 1 seat (-1)
Latvian politics are very confusing, mostly due to the huge swings. This time was no different. A new party, Civic Union (probably EPP) topped the poll over the Harmony Centre, a Russian minority outfit. The PCTVL, another Russian outfit, fell slightly compared to its 11% result in 2004, but remained remarkably stable. TB/LNNK, a UEN party which topped the poll in 2004 fell down three seats. The conservative New Era, senior party in the governing coalition, won only 7% (a lot of its members, along with TB/LNNK members apparently joined the Civic Union). The People’s Party, the senior party in the old coalition which fell apart this year due to the economic crisis won barely 2%. The Union of Greens and Farmers, which won something like 16% in the 2006 election polled a mere 3.7%.
Homeland Union-LKD 26.16% winning 4 seats (+2)
Lithuanian Social Democrats 18.12% winning 3 seats (+1)
Order and Justice 11.9% winning 2 seats (+1)
Labour Party 8.56% winning 1 seat (-4)
Poles’ Electoral Action 8.21% winning 1 seat (+1)
Liberals Movement 7.17% winning 1 seat (+1)
Liberal and Centre Union 3.38% winning 0 seats (-1)
Remarkable stability for a Baltic nation in Lithuania. The winner of the 2008 election, the Homeland Union (TS-LKD) won a rather convincing victory, improving on its 2008 result (only 19.6%) and obviously on its 2004 Euro result (12.6%). The LSDP has picked up an extra seat and has cemented its place as the opposition to the TS-LKD, along with the third-placed populist Order and Justice. Labour, the centrist party which won the 2004 Euro election has seen its seat share cut down from 5 to one, a logical follow-up to its collapse in 2008. The Poles have probably benefited from low turnout (21%) to motivate their base and won an outstanding 8.2% and elected one MEP. I don’t really follow Baltic politics, but if I remember correctly, a government rarely wins re-election, so if that’s true, the result of the TS-LKD is even more remarkable.
Christian Social Party 31.3% (-5.8%) winning 3 seats
Socialist 19.5% (-2.5%) winning 1 seat
Democratic Party 18.6% (+3.7%) winning 1 seat
The Greens 16.8% (+1.8%) winning 1 seat
Alternative Democratic Reform 7.4% (-0.6%)
The Left 3.4% (+1.7%)
Communist Party 1.5% (+0.3%)
Citizens’ List 1.4%
Remarkable and unsurprising political stability in Luxembourg, with no changes in seat distribution. While the CSV and LSAP suffer minor swings against them, the DP and Greens get small positive swings. The Greens’ result is their best ever and one of the best Green results in European elections.
On election night last week, I also covered the simultaneous general election. Here are, again, the full results.
CSV 38% (+1.9%) winning 26 seats (+2)
LSAP 21.6% (-1.8%) winning 13 seats (-1)
DP 15% (-1.1%) winning 9 seats (-1)
Greens 11.7% (+0.1%) winning 7 seats (nc)
ADR 8.1% (-1.8%) winning 4 seats (-1)
Left 3.3% (+1.4%) winning 1 seat (+1)
KPL 1.5% (+0.6%)
Labour 54.77% winning 3 seats (nc)
Nationalist 40.49% winning 2 seats (nc)
Obviously no surprise in tiny Malta, where the opposition Labour Party has defeated the governing Nationalist Party. Both sides made gains in terms of votes, feeding off the collapse of the green Democratic Alternative (AD), which won a remarkable 10% in 2004 but a mere 2.3% this year.
Civic Platform 44.43% (+20.33%) winning 25 seats (+10)
Law and Justice 27.4% (+14.73%) winning 15 seats (+8)
Democratic Left Alliance-Labour Union 12.34% (+2.99%) winning 7 seats (+2)
Peasant Party 7.07% (+0.67%) winning 3 seats (-1)
Map by electoral constituency. Key same as above table
Polish politics move quickly, but it seems that this ‘setup’ is here to stay, atleast for some time. The governing right-liberal pro-European Civic Platform (led by PM Donald Tusk) has won a crushing victory over the national-conservative eurosceptic Law and Justice of President Lech Kaczyński. PO’s margin of victory is slightly larger than its already important victory in the 2008 elections. The SLD-UP electoral alliance, which is what remains of the Left and Democrats (LiD) coalition of the 2008 election (encompassing SLD-UP but also a small fake liberal party), won 12%, the average result of the Polish left these days. The Peasant Party, PO’s junior partner in government, won slightly fewer votes than in 2008 (or the 2004 Eur0s). The 2004 Euros, marked by the excellent result of the ultra-conservative League of Polish Families (LPR, now Libertas) and the left-wing populist Samoobrona saw both of these parties collapse. Libertas-LPR won 1.14% and Samoobrona won 1.46%. Smaller ultra-conservative jokes also did very poorly. After the 2004-2006 episode, sanity seems to have returned to Polish politics.
Social Democratic Party 31.7% winning 8 seats (+1)
Socialist Party 26.6% winning 7 seats (-5)
Left Bloc 10.7% winning 3 seats (+2)
CDU: Communist Party-Greens 10.7% winning 2 seats (nc)
Democratic and Social Centre-People’s Party 8.4% winning 2 seats (nc)
Blue: PSD, Red: PS, Green: CDU (PCP-PEV)
Cold shower for the governing Portuguese Socialists after the huge victory of the 2004 Euros. The centre-right PSD has won a major victory by defeating the PS, albeit a relatively small margin between the two. The lost votes of the PS flowed to the Left Bloc (the Trotskyst and more libertarian component of the far-left) and the CDU (the older and more old-style communist component of the far-left), both of which won a remarkable 21.4% together. These voters voted BE or CDU due to the PS’ economic policies, which are far from traditional left-wing economic policies. The PS will need to fight hard, very hard, to win the upcoming general elections in September.
Social Democratic Party+Conservative Party 31.07% winning 11 seats (+1)
Democratic Liberal Party 29.71% winning 10 seats (-6)
National Liberal Party 14.52% winning 5 seats (-1)
UDMR 8.92% winning 3 seats (+1)
Greater Romania Party 8.65% winning 3 seats (+3)
Elena Băsescu (Ind PD-L) 4.22% winning 1 seat (+1)
The close race in Romania between the two government parties ended in the victory of the junior partner, the PSD with a rather mediocre 31%. The PDL’s 30% was also rather mediocre. The PNL also did quite poorly. The two winners are the Hungarian UDMR, which won a rather remarkable 9%, probably benefiting from high Hungarian turnout in a very low turnout election. The far-right Greater Romania Party overcame past setbacks and won three seats and a surprisingly good 8.7%. This is due in part to the participation of the far-right quasi-fascist PNG-CD on its list (the party’s leader, the very controversial Gigi Becali, was the party’s second candidate on the list). László Tőkés, an Hungarian independent elected in 2007 (sat in the Green-EFA group) has been re-elected as the top candidate on the UDMR list.
Smer-SD 32.01% winning 5 seats (+2)
Slovak Democratic and Christian Union–Democratic Party (SDKÚ-DS) 16.98% winning 2 seats (-1)
Party of the Hungarian Coalition 11.33% winning 2 seats (±0)
Christian Democratic Movement 10.87% winning 2 seats (-1)
People’s Party–Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (ĽS-HZDS) 8.97% winning 1 seat (-2)
Slovak National Party 5.55% winning 1 seat (+1)
Smer’s result is definitely deceiving for them and possibly a sign that their past stellar poll ratings will slide to the benefit of the opposition SDKÚ-DS. However, the SDKÚ-DS (but also the KDH and obviously the ĽS-HZDS) have slid back compared to their 2004 Euro results. While the collapse of the ĽS-HZDS (formerly led by former quasi-dictator Vladimír Mečiar) is good news, the entry of the quasi-fascist Slovak National Party, Smer’s charming coalition partners, is not. However, the SNS’ 5.6% is not the 10% it used to poll and hopefully they stay low.
Slovenian Democratic Party 26.89% winning 2 seats (nc)
Social Democrats 18.48% winning 2 seats (+1)
New Slovenia 16.34% winning 1 seat (-1)
Liberal Democracy 11.52% winning 1 seat (-1)
Zares 9.81% winning 1 seat (+1)
In Slovenia, the oppostion centre-right SDS has defeated the ruling Social Democrats. Here again, the current political setup between SDS on the right and SD on the left, a rather new setup, seems set to stay for a few years. The NSi, which won the 2004 election, and the LDS, which used to dominate Slovenian politics, have both slumped back. The new liberal Zares won 9.8%, roughly its level in the 2008 election.
People’s Party42.23% (+1.02%) winning 23 seats (-1)
Socialist 38.51% (-4.95%) winning 21 seats (-4)
Coalition for Europe (EAJ-CiU-CC) 5.12% (-0.03%) winning 2 seats [1 EAJ, 1 CiU] (±0)
The Left 3.73% (-0.38%) winning 2 seats (±0)
Union, Progress and Democracy 2.87% winning 1 seat (+1)
Europe of Peoples 2.5% (+0.05%) winning 1 seat (±0)
As expected, the conservative PP defeated the governing PSOE, but due to the polarized nature of Spanish politics, no landslide here. However, the PSOE definitely polled poorly, though the PP didn’t do that great either. The regionalists held their ground well, and CiU got some little gains going in Catalonia. Aside from UPyD’s narrow entry and the obvious PP gains, it was generally status-quo.
Social Democrats 24.41% (-0.15%) winning 5 seats (nc)
Moderate Party 18.83% (+0.58%) winning 4 seats (nc)
Liberal People’s Party 13.58% (+3.72%) winning 3 seats (+1)
Greens 11.02% (+5.06%) winning 2 seats (+1)
Pirate Party 7.13% (new) winning 1 seat (+1)
Left 5.66% (-7.14%) winning 1 seat (-1)
Centre 5.47% (-0.79%) winning 1 seat (nc)
Christian Democrats 4.68% (-1.01%) winning 1 seat (nc)
June List 3.55% (-10.92%) winning 0 seats (-3)
Sweden Democrats 3.27% (+2.14%)
Feminist Initiative 2.22%
First map: Parties (SD in red, M in blue) – Second Map: Coalitions (Red-Green in red, Alliance in blue)
The Swedish results must come as a major deception for both major parties, the Social Democrats and the governing Moderates. Both had done horribly in 2004 and the 2009 results are no improvements for either of them. In fact, the opposition SD has in fact dropped a few votes more from the 2004 disaster. These loses profit to the smaller parties in their respective coalitions (Red-Green for the SD, Alliance for M). The Liberals did very well, unexpectedly well in fact, and elected a third MEP. The Greens drew votes from Red-Green voters dissatisfied by the unpopular SD leader, Mona Sahlin, and its vote share increased by 5%. Of course, Sweden is now famous for electing one Pirate MEP, and even a second MEP if Sweden gets additional MEPs as planned by the Treaty of Lisbon. The Left’s vote fell significantly from its good showing in 2004, while the vote for smaller coalition parties – the Centre and Christian Democrats also slid a bit. The eurosceptic June List, which had won 14% in 2004, fell to a mere 3.6% and lost its 3 MEPs. However, this result might have prevented the far-right Sweden Democrats from picking up a seat. The Feminists, who had one MEP after a Liberal defection, won a surprisingly decent 2%, far better than what polls had in store for them. In terms of coalitions, the governing Alliance actually won with 42.56% against 41.09% for the opposition Red-Greens.
Longer, special posts concerning the Euro elections in Belgium, France and the UK will be posted in the coming days.
I was just reminded that I hadn’t wrapped up the early February Sardinian election. So, just for the sake of finishing this. As a reminder, Ugo Cappellacci, the right-wing PdL candidate supported by Berlusconi, defeated the leftie incumbent Renato Soru.
Ugo Cappellacci (PdL) 51.88% (9 regional seats)
Renato Soru (PD) 42.94% (1 regional seat)
Gavino Sale (IRS) 3.06%
Peppino Balia (PS) 1.55%
Gianfranco Sollai (SN) 0.55%
PdL 30.20% (+7.97%) 27 (+12)
UDC 9.04% (-1.24%) 7 (-)
Sardinian Reformers 6.79% (+0.85%) 5 (+1)
PSd’Az 4.29% (+0.46%) 4 (+2)
UDS-NPSI 3.48% (-1.44%) 2 (-)
MPA-PPS-La Destra 2.25% (-2.3%) 1 (-2)
Right 56.05% (+4.3%) 44 seats (+13)
PD 24.77% (-6.94%) 18 (-12)
IdV 5.04% (+4.05%) 3 (+2)
PRC 3.16% (-0.93%) 2 (-3)
Red Moors-Greens 2.54% (+1.72%) 1 (+1)
PdCI 1.91% (+0.05%) 1 (-)
Democratic Left-MpS-UIS 1.64% (+1.64%) 1 (+1)
Left 39.06% (-0.41%) 26 seats (-11)
PS 2.33% (-1.43%) 0 seats (-3)
IRS 2.06% (+0.93%)
SN 0.45% (-0.13%)
UDEUR 0% (-2.63%) 0 seats (-3)
* Note: PdL is compared to the sum of Forza and AN in 2004. MPA-PPS is compared to the PPS alone in 2004. UDS and PSd’Az ran independently in 2004. PD is compared to the sum of DS, Daisy, and Progetto in 2004. Left totals excluding UDEUR (no clue where those bastards went) and PS (ran separately in 2009). Red Moors (PSd’Az dissidents) compared to Greenies alone in 2004.
Personally, I think this is a sad result for Sardinia and a good man like Soru, but then, I always try to keep personal opinions out of my blog posts (unless I really hate something). Statistically, this is a significant victory for Berlusconi’s PdL and the centre-right, and certainly a good sign for the PdL in the 2009 EU elections and most importantly the 2010 regional elections, where the left has tons of ground to defend (the ’05 series). Also a good sign for di Pietro’s gang (Italia dei Valori), which is apparently at 8-10% nationally. They keep gaining ground despite the centre-left in general losing ground.
Just a quick post about the results we have from Sardinia so far, where their counting is taking an awfully long time. However, there is a winner, Ugo Cappellacci of the right-wing coalition. It’s not even close. With 1,658 precincts out of 1,812 reporting, Cappellacci stands at 51.9, while Soru (PD) stands at a mere 42.89%. Gavino Sale of the nationalist IRS has 3.07. The PS candidate has 1.56% and another nationalist has 0.55%.
In the regional council, the right-wing coalition have an even larger lead, with a combined 56.71% for the right-wing coalition against 38.62% for the left. Overall, the PD has done poorly, around 6% less than the current PD components did in 2004. IdV, which is really on an upwards swing, has around 5% of the vote, up from a mere percent in 2004. The PdL is up around 8% from the combined strength of Forza and Alleanza in 2004. There has been minimal movement for the Reformers, UDC, or the UDS. The PSd’Az has done surprisingly well, much better than their dismal 2008 general election showing. They’re at around 4.4%. The MPA has around 2.1%, which I believe is superior to their April 2008 GE results.
Anyways, actual analysis when the final precincts arrive instead of stats and numbers. Stay tuned.
The autonomous Italian island of Sardinia is voting to renew its regional council and President on February 15 and 16. Sardinia, which used to be a traditionally DC region, is now one of Italy’s battleground regions in regional and national elections. In 1999, the right-wing candidate, Mauro Pili won a runoff against the left, but his coalition won 28 seats, while the left won 30 seats (out of 64). A succession of unstable centre-right governments followed, until the rich businessman (listed by Forbes as one of the richest persons on the planet in 2001) Renato Soru easily defeated Pili in the 2004 election. The left won all but one of Sardinia’s provinces in the 2005 provincial election, on the back of the right’s nationwide unpopularity. Prodi’s coalition won the island in 2006, but it voted for Berlusconi in 2008 by a considerably large margin.
Presidential election, 2004
Left (Renato Soru) 50.13
Right (Mauro Pili) 40.53
Giacomo Sanna (PSd’Az, SN) 3.77
Mario Floris (UDS) 3.64
Gavino Sale (IRS) 1.91
Regional Council, 2004
Left 6 (PRC 5, PCI 1)
Ugo Cappellacci, the PdL candidate, and son of Berlusconi’s fiscal advisor, has managed to rally the historically left-wing regionalist PSd’Az, which used to be much stronger before, but is now riven by division. He also has the support of the UDC and the right-wing regionalist parties, such as the Sardinian Reformers, a centrist outfit, the Sardinian People’s Party and the UDS.
Renato Soru, a strong-willed wealthy businessman is running for re-election. He is a rival of Berlusconi, and is seen by some as a future leader for the PD nationally. He has already said that if he led the left, he’d re-create Prodi’s 2006 coalition, which went from orthodox communists and hippies to the centre (or even centre-right).
Other candidates include Gianfranco Sollai (nats, including Sardegna Nazione), Gavino Sale (nats, IRS), as PS candidate and one other miscellaneous joke.
Mathematically, and using 2008 data, Cappellacci has the advantage, but voters vote differently in regional elections. Renato Soru is popular (Cappellacci is too, but more unknown to voters). Italy has asinine opinion polling laws, so it’s practically like Saskatchewan general elections in terms of polling out there. I’m predicting that Soru will pull it off, but I have little to back that prediction up.
The right has gained another region in Italy, after winning back Friuli-Venezia Giulia. PdL candidate Giovanni Chiodi defeated IdV-PD candidate Carlo Costantini in the direct vote for President 48.81-42.67. Turnout was only 52.97%, down from 68.58% in 2005.
Full results. The UDC is excluded from the 2006 right-wing totals since they ran alone this time. UDEUR is excluded from the left in 2006 and included with the UDC.
Giovanni Chiodi (PdL) 48.81% (8 regional seats)
Carlo Costantini (IdV-PD) 42.67% (1 regional seat)
Rodolfo de Laurentiis (UDC-UDEUR) 5.38%
Teodoro Buontempo (Destra) 1.90%
Ilaria del Biondo (PCL) 0.76%
Angelo di Prospero (PBC) 0.46%
PdL 35.18% (+8.00%) 15 (+7)
DC-LD-PRI-Rialzati Abruzzo 7.41% (+7.41%) 3 (+3)
MPA 3.32% (+3.32%) 1 (+1)
Liberalsocialisti 1.42% (+0.46%) compared to NPSI
PdL 47.36% (+14.57%) 19 seats (+10)
PD 19.61% (-15.72%) 7 (-5)
IdV 15.03% (+12.58%) 5 (+4)
PRC 2.84% (-2.07%) 1 (-)
Sinistra (Greens) 2.22% (+0.21%) 1 (-)
PCI 1.83% (-1.15%) 1 (-)
PS 1.73% (-3.48%) 0 (-2)
Democrats for Abruzzo 1.38% (+1.38%)
PD-IdV-PRC 44.65% (-13.26%) 15 seats (-4)
UDC-UDEUR 5.61% (-7.54%) 2 seats (-2)
Destra 1.76% (+1.76%)
PCL 0.37% (+0.37%)
PBC 0.22% (+0.22%)
The MPA’s excellent result is one of the most striking things here. A Sicilian-based DC-like crook party, the MPA apparently allied with a small “Alliance for Central Italy” party in Abruzzo and other regions to set up a strong MPA structure there. Didn’t work out too badly, indeed. The IdV also did well, but a bit less than I could have expected. Costantini, however, an IdVer himself, did worse than the combined left-wing coalition in the council. A poor result for the UDC-UDEUR coalition, especially when compared to combined UDC-UDEUR totals in ’05.
A quick map. Interesting to compare a few of those maps (PdL, for example) to the past electoral maps posted in the other post. The PdL candidate was the Mayor of Teramo, so he had a bit of favourite son support in Teramo and the combined right broke 50% there. Lots of differences in the MPA result: below 0.5% in Teramo, above 6% in L’Aquila.
Regional elections are being held in the Italian region of Abruzzo today and tommorrow (polls close at 15:00 on Monday). This election is to replace the incumbent President, Ottaviano Del Turco (PD), who resigned after being suspected of criminal activities. Del Turco, then SDI, was elected in the red wave that swept the 2005 Italian regional elections. He defeated the AN incumbent, Giovanni Pace, in a landslide. Del Turco was the first outright left-winger to win the regional presidency of the traditionally conservative-Christian democratic region, although a PPI (successor to DC) member was elected from 1995 to 2000.
The winning majority will serve a normal five-year term until 2013 (while all other regions renewed in 2005 will be renewed in 2010).
PD 35.33 (2005: DS+DL): 12
PS 5.21 (SDI): 2
PRC 4.91: 1
UDEUR 4.73: 1
PCI 2.95: 1
IdV 2.45: 1
Greenies 2.01: 1
Other left 0.32
Left 57.91: 19 seats
PdL 27.18 (FI+AN): 8
UDC 8.42: 3
DCA 2.79: 1
Reformist Moderates: 1.16
New Italian Socialist Party–PRI–PLI: 0.96
Right 41.21: 12 seats
Assorted Fascists 0.88
The election was delayed from November 30-December 1 to the 14th and 15th to make place and time for a tiny list For the Common Good (PBC). The PdL is running alone, having refused to run with the UDC or La Destra. Its candidate is Gianni Chiodi, a former mayor of Teramo. The left finally settled and united behind Carlo Constanini, a member of the IdV (Italy of Values. Its leader, Antoni di Pietro comes from neighboring Molise). Constanini will lead a large IdV-PD- Commies-Greenies-PS list. Various centrists, the UDC and the UDEUR (I would’ve thought those crooks were dead…) have settled on Rodolfo de Laurentiis. Other candidates include Teodoro Buontempo (Destra), Leopoldo Rossini (Lega Nord), Angelo di Prospero (PBC), and Ilaria del Biondo (Trot).
Random election maps from a few past elections (the party maps are from 2008 Senate, btw). 2006 and 2008 Camera maps are the same as the Senate maps, btw.
Elections were held in Trento, just south of Bolzano (see previous post on those elections) on November 9. The voters also directly elected their President.
Lorenzo Dellai (Left-UpT) 56.99%
Sergio Divina (Right-PdL) 36.50%
Nerio Giovanazzi 2.9%
Remo Andreolli 1.95%
Agostino Catalano (Commie) 1.16%
Gianfranco Valduga (PCI) 0.50%
PD 21.62% (+7.99) 8 (+3)
UpT 17.92% (-7.96) 6 (-6)
Lega Nord 14.07% (+7.95) 6 (+4)
PdL 12.26% (-1.16) 5 (-1)
PATT 8.52% 3 (-0.47) 3 (-)
Civica Divina 4.32% (new) 1 (+1)
Greenies 2.77% (-0.74) 1 (-)
Di Pietro IdV 2.73% (+1.21) 1 (+1)
Leali 2.35% (-0.27) 0 (-1)
Aut. – Valli unite 2.13% (new) 0
Dem. Trentino 1.96% (new) 0
Amm. Trentino 1.62% (new) 0
Pensionati 1.31% (+0.51) 0
UAL 1.17% (+0.06) 1 (-)
Left-wing 20 seats
Right-wing 12 seats