the Schlein effect is not there. It's a challenge that has never started -

the Schlein effect is not there.  It's a challenge that has never started -

Of Roberto Gressi

The secretary: «A clear defeat, you can't win alone. We need more time»In the first round in Sicily FdI, Lega and Forza Italia win in Catania

It's a freezing shower for
Elly Schlein
. The shortcut, at least at the moment, has proved to be an illusion. The idea that the abrupt jerk of the primaries, a clean break with the reformist area and some success in reappearing in the squares were enough for the Democratic Party, was found insufficient by the voters.

In the result of this administrative round there is also another signal: the ballot no longer comes to the rescue of the center-left to recompose in the ballot boxesand those alliances that have not found a reason to settle before the vote. Nor, moreover, did the aggregations between the Democratic Party and the Five Stars patched up at the last minute, such as in Catania, work. And the physiological drop in turnout didn't help either: the government coalition has shown that it is able to get its supporters to the polls anywayreversing the usual trend which sees her as an underdog on the second call.
The Dems lose Ancona, one of the last historical strongholds of the left. The comeback fails in Tuscan cities that had traditionally been led by the centre-left, such as Pisa, Siena and Massa, which confirm the trust given five years ago to the centre-right. Pardon in Brindisi, not received in Terni, where a civic candidate asserts himself who also beats the government coalition.

The centre-left snatches Vicenza from its opponents
but on the wave of a candidate, Giacomo Possamaiwho did not want party leaders to support him in the electoral campaign, as Damiano Tommasi had already done in Verona. The final result of the ballots is nine to three, with the anomaly in Terni, against the eight to five of the previous time, and after the four to two of the first round. And in Sicily, where one vote more than forty percent is enough to immediately elect the mayor, things didn't go any better. One could say, using a cliché, that after this vote the government is getting stronger. It is undoubtedly true, as it is true, however, that the holding of the majority was not at issue in this round of administrative elections. The victory in the Policies of 25 September was too clear, the oppositions too divided, quarrelsome and in competition with each other, the polls that after eight months give the center-right, and above all the Brothers of Italy, well above the result that has brought Giorgia Meloni to Palazzo Chigi.

Brutal awakening

What could be expected, however, was that the conditions would mature for a future challenge between the two women who broke the mold of Italian politics: one firmly at the helm of the coalition that governs the country, the other who aspires to become the figurehead of the ship of revenge. Maybe for Elly Schlein the exams came too soon, but it's a fact that this time the challenge wasn't even played. Just as it is a reality that the two previous secretaries, Nicola Zingaretti and Enrico Letta, quickly forced to resign, had won their administrative elections anyway. Not to mention that the vote, albeit local, encourages the prime minister to push on the path of institutional reform which provides for the direct election of the prime minister.

Now for the Pd it is already time for reflections, and the secretariat convened yesterday evening in a hurry and lasting hours is an unequivocal sign of this. It is no secret that Elly Schlein's inner circle looked at yesterday's ballots with great optimismconvinced that they could act as a springboard for the marathon that will lead to next year's European elections.

This was not the case and the awakening is brutal. It will now be up to the leader to decide whether the result is the result of an all too degraded situation, and of a wind that is pushing the right across Europe. And therefore you will have to understand if it is just a question of insisting, to get back on track, or if it is already time to make some corrections. Above all in a party that does not forgive defeats, which has changed many secretaries in a few years and with a reformist area which feels unjustly penalized and which awaits it sitting on the bank and which asks for a discussion. Elly Schlein's immediate judgment is that the course of things cannot be changed in a few months, and that building the alternative is not up to the Pd alone. A defensive reaction, different from the tones to which the secretary had accustomed us.

Alliances in the balance

But precisely the search for the alternative signals that it is time of crisis also for the Five Stars, which have proved to be in fact irrelevant. It is more than likely that the result will not facilitate dialogue with the Democratic Party, both because the dem aim to contest their electorate and because the alliances have shown themselves to be losers. All the more with Giuseppe Conte who feels his leadership threatened by unfavorable polls, and with Chiara Appendino and Virginia Raggi to whom part of the Movement is looking for a change that will bring them back to their origins. If the leaders of the Italian Left, Angelo Bonelli and Nicola Fratoianni, invite the opposition to build a common path, it is precisely on the periphery of their party that the idea is also gaining ground that in order to win the consent of those who feel more to the left it is necessary to distance oneself from the Democratic Party. And it is again Carlo Calenda who claims that sovereignty cannot be fought with populism. All more than known positions, which however make it clear that yesterday for the oppositions it was not only a defeat, but also a further wound that distances the possibility, and perhaps even the will, of building an alliance capable of competing with the centre-right.

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May 30, 2023 (change May 30, 2023 | 07:11)

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