|Italian local elections
ON THIS PAGE: 2017: Centre-right parties win in mayority of cities ||| Election results and analysis ||| Populist candidates eliminated ||| 2016: Five Star Movement helped by right-wing votes ||| Results from largest Italian cities in 2016 |||
ON OTHER PAGES
World Mayors and politics
Voter turnout - an international comparison
Belgian Mayors (2016)
British Mayors (2017)
Canadian Mayors (2016)
French Mayors (2016)
German mayors (2017)
Italian mayors (2016)
Japanese mayors (2017)
Polish mayors (2016)
Spanish mayors (2016)
US mayors (2017)
The 2016 World
1 Bart Somers, Mechelen, Belgium
2 Wolfgang G Müller, Lahr, Germany
3 Georgios Kaminis, Athens, Greece
4 Guisi Nicolini, Lampedusa, Italy
5 Richard Arnold, Schwäbisch Gmünd,
6 Mirjam van 't Veld, Amstelveen Netherlands
7 Spiros Galinos, Lesbos, Greece
8 Pavel Adamowicz, Gdansk, Poland
9 Damien Carême, Grande-Synthe, France
10 Henriette Reker, Cologne, Germany
|2017 Elections - Second round
Italian cities elect centre-right mayors while
pro-refugee Lampedusa mayor is defeated
28 June 2017: Italy's anti-immigrant centre-right parties emerged as the big winners in mayoral second-round elections on Sunday, 25 June 2017. In the most closely watched race in Genoa, which has been controlled by the left for more than 50 years, a candidate backed by the right-wing Northern League and Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right Forza Italia party took 55 per cent of the vote. Across Italy, mayoral candidates supported by the centre-right won 15 out of 25 provincial capitals, with one result still to be declared. In addition to Genoa, they took control of Come, La Spezia and L’Acuila. The country’s governing centre-left Democratic Party managed to hold on to Palermo, where Mayor Leoluca Orlando was re-elected in the first round, and won control of Lecce.
The populist 5-Star Movement performed badly in the first round of voting and only made it to a run-off in one of the 25 largest races. It did not win in any of the provincial capitals, however in Parma, Frederico Pizzarotti, who deserted the Movement, was re-elected as an independent.
After a vicious campaign, Lampedusa Giusi Nicolini, one of Italy’s internationally best known mayors, lost her re-election bid. In the past few years, Mayor Nicolini has become a national symbol of the Island of Lampedusa's willingness to help those fleeing war and poverty. When President Obama hosted a state dinner in honour of then-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in 2016, Renzi brought her along as one of the people who represented the best of Italy. She was awarded the UNESCO Peace Price, shared last year’s Olof Palme Prize with Lesbos Mayor Spiros Galinos and was awarded fourth place in the 2016 World Mayor Honours List. In a post-election interview with the Washington Post, Nicolini said she had been insulted for the national and international attention she got because of the migrant crisis. “They called me 'ladra di medaglie,' medals thief, and accused me of talking too much to the media. But I was just trying to promote the image of the island.”
Mayoral election results from Italy’s provincial capitals
(Elections took place over two rounds, on 11 and 25 June. In most cities candidates had to win 50 per cent of the vote to be elected in the first round, otherwise the two top finishers faced each other in the second round. More than four million voters were eligible to vote in 110 municipalities where no candidate won more than 50 per cent in the first-round election. Turnout was only 47 per cent.)
2017 Elections - First round
Populist candidates eliminated
in Italian mayoral elections
13 June 2017: Less than one year before Italy elects a new parliament, the populist 5-Star Movement failed to meet expectations in mayoral elections held on Sunday. Voters were asked to choose new mayors in some 1,000 municipalities. In none of the largest towns and cities did 5-Star candidates progress to the second round of voting on 25 June. The Movement headed by former comedian Beppe Grillo even failed to make it to the run-off in its founder’s home city of Genoa. In Parma, where five years ago the incumbent mayor achieved the first big electoral breakthrough for 5-Star but has since left the Movement, Grillo’s present candidate failed to progress to round two of the election. 5-Star candidates were also eliminated in other key cities like Verona, Palermo, L'Aquila, Catanzaro and Lecce.
In the 25 largest cities, where elections were held, only three candidates received enough votes to avoid the run-off in two weeks’ time. Leoluca Orlando, the incumbent mayor of Palermo and outspoken foe of the Sicilian Mafia, was convincingly re-elected. Other first-round winners include Nicola Ottaviani (Frosinone) and Federico Borgna (Cuneo).
Parties supporting Italy’s ruling centre-left Democratic Party emerged strongest with more than 37 per cent of the vote, while a centre-right coalition finished close behind with 34 per cent. Votes cast for 5-Star candidates amounted to nine per cent of total votes, with left-wing parties on seven per cent. While centre-left candidates are leading in most of the largest cities, where elections are being held, their eventual victories are by no means certain. One year ago, the majority of 5-Star voters supported centre-right or even right-wing candidates in the second round. FULL RESULTS AND ANALYSIS AFTER THE SECOND ROUND
Election news 2016
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