Italian local elections 2016
Five Star Movement helped by right-wing votes ||| Results from largest Italian cities |||

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Populist candidates capture
Rome and Turin with
the help of right-wing votes

Rome, 22 June 2016: Italy’s populist Five Star Movement (M5S) won two of the four big prizes on offer in last Sunday’s second round of local elections. The party, which since its foundation in October 2009 by the popular comedian Beppe Grillo as an anti-establishment movement has moved to the right of the country’s political spectrum, won the mayoral contests in Rome and Turin and a number of smaller cities. Analysis by City Mayors shows that in Rome the 21-per cent first-round support for the national-conservative party Brothers of Italy (FdI) helped the M5S candidate Virginia Raggi to victory in the run-off. She almost doubled her share of the vote from 35 per cent in the first round to 67 per cent in round two, while her centre-left opponent only managed to increase his vote from 25 to 33 per cent.

In Turin, the incumbent centre-left mayor won almost 42 per cent in the first round but could only add four percentage points in round two. His M5S challenger, Chiara Appendino, however managed to increase her share of the vote from 31 per cent in round one to almost 55 per cent after Brothers-of-Italy voters switched their support to her.

In Italy’s second city, Milan, the centre-left candidate, who belongs to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD) defeated the centre-right candidate who was supported by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Milan’s new mayor has been credited with rescuing the 2015 World Expo from disaster after its construction had been marred with allegations of mafia involvement. Pope Francis also thought that the money spent on the Vatican pavilion was wasteful. In Bologna, where the M5S did not advance to the run-off stage, the centre-left incumbent mayor Virginio Merola comfortably defeated the candidate from the centre-right coalition.

During the first- and second-round campaigns, the Five Star Movement accused the established parties of having tolerated graft and corruption in local government, particularly in Rome, where allegedly city contracts were routinely awarded to firms controlled by the Mafia. Accusations have also been made that employees of Rome City Hall have stolen millions from the city’s coffers. But the M5S also has its own problems. The party’s mayor in Parma, Frederico Pizzarotti, is under investigation of abuse of power, while in Livorno, another M5S mayors has fraud accusations hanging over him. Last month, Beppe Grillo, the M5S leader, caused controversy when he ‘jokingly’ said he wanted to see London’s newly elected Muslim mayor blow himself up in front of Westminster.

In the European Parliament the Five Star Movement has aligned itself with right-wing populist parties like Alternative for Germany, the UK Independence Party, the Sweden Democrats and the Party of Free Citizens in the Czech Republic.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was shortlisted for the World Mayor Prize when Mayor of Florence from 2009 to 2014.

Italian local elections 2016:
Winners and runners-up
in largest cities

Runner up
Rome (Popl: 2.6 million) Virginia Raggi (Five Star) 67% Roberto Giachetti (Centre-Left) 33%
Milan (Popl: 1.3 million) Guiseppe Sala (Centre-Left) 52% Stefano Parisi (Centre-Right) 48%
Naples (Popl: 975,000) Luigi De Magistris (Independent civic list) 67% Giovanni Lettieri (Forza Italia) 33%
Turin (Popl: 893,000) Chiara Appendino (Five Star) 55% Pierro Fassino (Centre Left) 45%
Bologna (Popl: 376,000) Virgino Merola (Centre Left) 55% Lucia Borgonzoni (45%)
Benevento (Popl: 60,300) Mario Mastella (Centre) 63% Raffaele Del Vecchio (Centre Left) 37%
Brindisi (Popl: 89,000) Angela Carluccio (Independen civic list) 51% Fernando Marino (Centre Left) 49%
Cagliari (Popl: 155,000) Massimi Zedda (Centre Left) 51% Piergiorgio Massidda (Centre Right) 32%
Carbonia (Popl: (29,000) Paola Massidda (Five Star Movement) 62% Guiseppe Casti (Centre Left) 38%
Caserta (Popl: 77,000) Carlo Marino (Centre Left) 63% Riccardo Ventre (Centre Right) 37%
Cosenza (Popl: 71,0000 Mario Occhiuto (Independent civic list) 59% Carlo Guccione (Centre Left) 20%
Crotone (Popl: 62,000) Ugo Pugliese (Independent civic list) 59% Rosanna Barbieri (Centre Left) 41%
Grosseto (Popl: 82,000) Anton Colonna (Centre Right) 55% Lorenzo Mascagni (Centre Left) 45%
Isernia (Popl: 22,000) Giacomo D'Apollonio (National Conservative) 59% Gabriele Melogu (Centre Right) 41%
Latina (Popl: 119,000) Damiano Coletta (Independent civic list) 75% Nicola Calandrini (Northern League) 25%
Novara (Popl: 105,000) Alessandro Canelli (National Conservative / Northern League) 58% Andrea Ballare (Centre Left 42%)
Olbia (Popl: 58,000) Settimo Nizzi (Centre Right) 51% Carlo Careddu (Centre Left) 49%
Pordenone (Popl: 52,000) Alessandro Ciriani (Centre Right) 59% Daniela Giust (Centre Left) 41%
Ravenna (Popl: 159,000) Michele de Pascale (Centre Left) 53% Massimiliano Alberghini (Centre Right) 47%
Rimini (Popl: 147,000) Andrea Gnassi (Centre Left) 57% Marzio Pecci (Centre Right) 25%
Salerno (Popl: 133,000) Vincenzo Napoli (Independent civic list) 70% Roberto Celani (National Conservatives) 10%
Savona (Popl: 62,000) Ilaria Caprioglio (Northern League) 53% Cristina Battaglia (Centre Left) 47%
Trieste (Popl: 205,000) Roberto Dipiazza (Centre Right) 53% Roberto Cosolini (Centre Left) 47%
Varese (Popl: 81,000) Davide Galimberti (Centre Left) 52% Paolo Orrigoni (Centre Right) 48%