Progressives defeat populist, racist provocations in Italy

Progressives defeat populist, racist provocations in Italy

PD leader Nicola Zingaretti and the incumbent governor Stefano Bonaccini rallied progressive forces in Emilia-Romagna – the northern Italian region containing Bologna – to defeat Salvini’s League and his coalition of right-wing populists.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“Serious politics won out against populism and racist provocations in Italy this weekend. Strong leadership from Nicola Zingaretti and Stefano Bonaccini rallied progressive voters. They focused on what Partito Democratico has achieved for the region and as a result, they managed to drive up turnout significantly. This election proves what we all know – Italians don’t want Salvini’s brand of xenophobic, populist politics. PD is the alternative to the extremist League party.”

The left has governed Emilia-Romagna since the end of World War II and yesterday’s vote means this will now continue. The election campaign and result are living proof that populists are more concerned with talking about problems rather than solving them, as Nicola Zingaretti highlighted on election night.

In a desperate last-ditch attempt to swing voters, Salvini even resorted to breaking pre-election silence rules the day before the vote, but his campaign ultimately failed to overcome the momentum of Partito Democratico’s coalition, which exit polls show won 51% of the vote in Emilia-Romagna. Turnout in the key region rose compared to the last election in 2014, up from 40% to 68%.