Italian premier’s party claims victory in 5 of 7 regions

Jun 1, 2015, 5:06 AM
Italian Premier Matteo Renzi arrives at a polling station in Pontassieve, near Florence, Italy Sund...
Italian Premier Matteo Renzi arrives at a polling station in Pontassieve, near Florence, Italy Sunday, May 31, 2015. Italians vote for governorships in several regions and posts in dozens of municipalities in what is being seen as a partial test of Premier Matteo Renzi's grip on his oft-squabbling Democratic Party. (AP Photo/Francesco Bellini)
(AP Photo/Francesco Bellini)

MILAN (AP) — Italian Premier Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party claimed victory Monday in five of seven regions that voted for new leaders, but the real winner was the anti-Europe and once-regional Northern League that showed strong gains nationally.

The votes for presidents of seven Italian regions Sunday was marred by low turnout, with just half of eligible voters participating during what was for many a long holiday weekend.

The Northern League, led by Matteo Salvini, maintained control of the northeastern region Veneto, its traditional turf, with a two-to-one victory over the Democratic Party candidate. It also backed a candidate from Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party in Liguria, securing his victory in the northwestern region that has long been a Democratic Party stronghold.

Italy’s constitution gives regions power over such areas as health, environment and energy, although reforms proposed by Renzi would limit their scope.

Salvini’s showing put him in a position to claim leadership of the center-right from a weakened Berlusconi, said Wolfango Piccoli, a political analyst at Teneo Intelligence. Berlusconi’s political fortunes have been weakened by a tax fraud conviction.

“The result shows the emergence of a new leader on the center-right: Salvini,” Piccoli said. “There are basically two Matteos in Italian politics. Matteo Renzi and Matteo Salvini.”

The results indicated Salvini had successfully transformed the party into a nationwide force from its original incarnation as a secessionist group with a northern base. Salvini campaigned heavily on an anti-migrant platform and against the euro, making Brussels and not Rome the enemy.

Comic Beppe Grillo’s 5-Star Movement also showed gains on a regional level, and despite not winning control of any region remains the second political force in Italy after the Democratic Party.

Despite heading to five victories, Renzi failed to show the same strength as during last year’s European Parliament elections. His Democratic Party lost in Liguria largely due to a split in the party, and the victory in central Umbria was tighter than expected, Piccoli said. The Democratic party also won Renzi’s home region of Tuscany, the central region of Marche and the southern regions of Puglia and Campania.

Renzi did not immediately comment on the results, flying off to visit Italian troops in Afghanistan.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

World News

(Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BoF VOICES)...
Associated Press

Vivienne Westwood, influential fashion maverick, dies at 81

Vivienne Westwood, an influential fashion maverick who played a key role in the punk movement, died Thursday at 81.
1 month ago
FILE - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during his first Cabinet meeting flanked by his ...
Associated Press

Rishi Sunak: UK’s ex-Treasury chief gets his shot at PM job

LONDON (AP) — Rishi Sunak ran for Britain’s top job and lost. Then he got another shot — and the chance to say “I told you so.” The former U.K. Treasury chief was runner-up to Liz Truss in the contest to replace the scandal-plagued Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and prime minister. But Truss […]
3 months ago
Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss addresses the media in Downing Street in London, Thursday, Oct. ...
Associated Press

Truss quits, but UK’s political and economic turmoil persist

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Liz Truss quit Thursday after a tumultuous and historically brief term marred by economic policies that roiled financial markets and a rebellion in her political party that obliterated her authority. After just 45 days in office, Truss became the third Conservative prime minister to be toppled in as many […]
4 months ago
People receive medical treatment at the scene of Russian shelling, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct. 1...
Associated Press

Russia unleashes biggest attacks in Ukraine in months

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia retaliated Monday for an attack on a critical bridge by unleashing its most widespread strikes against Ukraine in months, a lethal barrage that smashed civilian targets, knocked out power and water, shattered buildings and killed at least 14 people. Ukraine’s Emergency Service said nearly 100 people were wounded in the […]
4 months ago
This illustration made available by Johns Hopkins APL and NASA depicts NASA's DART probe, upper rig...
Associated Press

NASA spacecraft smashes into asteroid for defense test

A NASA spacecraft rammed an asteroid at blistering speed Monday in an unprecedented dress rehearsal for the day a killer rock menaces Earth.
4 months ago
Associated Press

At least 9 killed as Iran protests over woman’s death spread

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Clashes between Iranian security forces and protesters angry over the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody have killed at least nine people since the violence erupted over the weekend, according to a tally Thursday by The Associated Press. The scope of Iran’s ongoing unrest, the worst in […]
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Italian premier’s party claims victory in 5 of 7 regions