Minimal turnout in Italy’s regional elections
Regional elections were held in Italy’s two largest regions, Lombardy and Lazio, on Sunday and Monday. The votes were also considered a test of the public mood after the first 100 days of the new government under Giorgia Meloni. Her right-wing coalition won the elections with 54.4 percent in Lombardy and 52.1 percent in Lazio. The turnout was unusually low at 37.2 percent (Lazio) and 41.6 percent (Lombardy).
A political desert being sold as victory
With such high levels of abstention there is no winner, says La Repubblica:
“Such percentages have not been recorded in any parliamentary election since the Second World War, neither in a city municipal election nor in any other regional election since 1970. Never before has there been such a lack of incentive for voters to participate, never before has there been such a glaring lack of empathy between voters and institutions. The winners of the elections are surrounded by the indifference and disregard of two-thirds of the population they are supposed to govern. To paraphrase a famous phrase by Tacitus, one could say that a desert has been created around the regional institution they call victory.”
The left offers no alternative
La Stampa is concerned that abstention was particularly high among the centre-left electorate:
“Perhaps they were disappointed by a political camp incapable of building up an effective opposition, or perhaps they had given up because the result was already certain. The particular timing of the election may offer an explanation. But when the phenomenon repeats itself once and then again and again, justifications citing the timing lose all validity. The rapport with a large part of the electorate, the trust in change for the better, has been broken: it is the task of politics to restore it.”