Administrative elections, turnout crisis: seats almost deserted on the first day of ballots. The Left is at the test of alliances

Administrative elections, turnout crisis: seats almost deserted on the first day of ballots.  The Left is at the test of alliances

ROME. The ballots do not seem to excite the voters, despite the fact that in the 41 municipalities to vote many challenges will probably be played out on the wire. Perhaps also the fault of the temperatures for the first time truly summer, the fact is that at 7 pm only 27.65% of the voters had voted, against 35.95% a fortnight ago. And the trend is also similar in the cities of Sicily and Sardinia, where instead people vote in the first round: in Sicily at 7 pm the turnout was more than seven points lower than in the last electoral round, while in Sardinia the drop is about 9 points. The final turnout figure will only be known in the afternoon, given that voting is still possible today until 3 pm, but the trend seems clear.

Yet, in fact, in most of the 7 provincial capitals called to the ballot the challenge between the centre-right and the centre-left is absolutely open. Giorgia Meloni and her government allies, united practically everywhere, arrive having already won in the first round four capital cities (Treviso, Sondrio, Imperia and Latina), the Democratic Party and the center-left - with a much more complicated scheme of alliances, different from the city a city – they immediately won only in Brescia and Teramo, cities they already governed.

Today's vote will also weigh on the internal relations of the two sides, especially in the opposition, because victories and defeats will also be read as a test for alliances. This is the case of Ancona, for example, a city hitherto governed by the center-left and where the M5s ran on its own in the first round and did not sign any appearances for the ballot. The right starts with a slight advantage accumulated a fortnight ago, but there is the unknown turnout to be evaluated, since historically the electorate of Fi, Fdi and Lega are less motivated to run the ballot.

Tense battle also in Tuscany, where the Democratic Party is trying to regain at least some of the three cities it lost for the first time in 2018. In Pisa - where the progressive coalition also includes the M5s - the center-right missed out on victory in the first round by just a few votes. But the candidates from Lega, Fi and Fdi also finished in the lead in Massa and Siena. In all three cases, the ability to bring all first-round voters back to the vote will be decisive.

The gap between the deployments in Brindisi, another city where the Pd and M5s have been allies since the beginning, is clearer. The "yellow-red" candidate Roberto Fusco stopped at 33.3%, while Giuseppe Marchionna of the centre-right reached 44%. In theory, the voters who in the first round voted for the outgoing mayor Riccardo Rossi, supported by Verdi-Left and Brindisi as a common good, could at least partially converge on Fusco. But the choice of Pd and M5s to focus on a new name certainly does not help the reports and this is confirmed by the fact that there was no appearance for the ballot.

In Vicenza, on the other hand, it is the government parties who fear the blitz. The Venetian city is a center-right stronghold but center-left candidate Giacomo Possamai took the lead in the first round, who this time should also count on the support of M5s voters.

In the two islands, the games are only just beginning, because the regions with special statutes vote with a delay of fifteen days compared to the rest of the country. In Catania, the leaders of Fi, Fdi and Lega closed the electoral campaign on Friday. Voting is also held in three other capitals: Syracuse, Ragusa and Trapani. But in Sicily the rule that the center-right would like to adopt for the whole country is already law: whoever arrives first immediately becomes mayor, without a ballot, if they exceed 40%. It is no coincidence that the Democratic Party threatens the barricades in Parliament on the proposal which aims to apply this mechanism to all the Municipalities of Italy. With this rule, the center-right would have won two weeks ago also in Ancona and Pisa, while now it has to compete in the ballots where, historically, the left-wing electorate is more present.

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