Milan is resisting, and it’s the city on which Renzi has bet, more so since the start of the municipal elections campaign. But the Democratic Party is not satisfied with simply inventing a spin for the victory. It’s not even satisfied with the positive — hard fought but, at least expected — result obtained by Virginio Merola in Bologna. The Roman defeat, but most of all the shock suffered in Turin, the historical stronghold of the left, which gave way to the Five Star Movement, sends a shiver through the secretary’s room.
The war council is made up of Deborah Serracchiani, the vice-secretary; Matteo Orfini, the chairman; and Francesco Bonifazi, the treasurer. In the end, there will only be an official note with “best wishes to continue the DP’s good work” to the new mayors. As for the explosive election result: the picture “is very articulated. We’re losing a few municipalities where we’ve governed for a long time, and we’re winning in others where right-wing parties have been the majority for the last 20 years. There’s still a bitter taste for some very harsh defeats, from Novara to Trieste.” In other words, the results are “mixed.” But beyond their staid tones, a red alert is sounding, as demonstrated by the immediate call for a national convention on Friday.
“In any case, we haven’t won,” one PD source explains. And I believe it. For Renzi, the vote at the ballots is not an alarm bell. It’s a cowbell. It explains a situation in which the party and its person is in: The air is changed, the 41 percent gained at the European elections is a memory. The secretary-premier knows that this time he wasn’t an added value for his candidates. On the contrary. Having started the battle for constitutional referendum, a divisive issue that caused difficulties for many candidates in the middle of the electoral campaign, did not help. The backtracking at the beginning of the campaign wasn’t enough.