There was really no need to wait until the evening’s results to understand the double political meaning of this partial but significant round of administrative elections. First, there was the rise in abstentionism, with turnout dropping below 60 percent and participation continuing its downward trend, falling by around two points.
The second conspicuous element of these elections was the unequal clash between the compact center-right marching forward in unity and the center-left barely managing to limp to a run-off or slinking back, divided, into defeat. And there is very little time for the PD secretary to succeed in turning the tide, while on the other side the right wingers have dug in deeply.
In most of the 13 regional capitals, the opposition parties decided to replicate the model of shooting themselves in the foot from the now-infamous September 25 general election last year: running towards the goal in disarray, and not even troubling the phalanx of the center-right that came to the fight without internal divisions, with a few exceptions confirming the rule (as in Massa). The two municipalities that put up a mirror to the defeat of the center-left, in their own different ways, were Ancona and Pisa.
If we look at the first, after handing over the region to Meloni’s “Brothers,” the center-left spared no effort in their attempt to lose the capital city as well, able to withstand many sieges in its long history but helpless in the face of the left’s masochism.
There were six mayoral candidates in Ancona: one from the right and no less than five from the divided left, between the PD, M5S, two civic lists and the Greens. The last hope is to make a comeback in the runoff.
In Pisa as well, the instinct to favor the divisive impulses over unity was strong: even though the PD and M5S made a united front, it was not enough to wrest the city from Meloni’s gang, because the left wing of the opposition ran the activist Ciccio Auletta, whose votes (otherwise commendable and well-deserved) were the crack that pushed the “tower” to lean even further to the right.
Each stubbornly pulling in their own direction means very little movement at all, and fewer and fewer voters are willing to buy a ticket for that.