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World Battle for Italy's far-right crown in Tuscany-led elections

05:47  19 september  2020
05:47  19 september  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Italians head to the polls this weekend, despite a coronavirus resurgence in Europe, for a referendum and Tuscany - led regional elections which analysts say could change the face of the far - right . It will be the first test for Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte' s centre-left coalition government since the Covid-19

Italians head to the polls this weekend, despite a coronavirus resurgence in Europe, for a referendum and Tuscany - led regional elections which analysts say could change the face of the far - right . It will be the first test for Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte' s centre-left coalition government since the Covid-19

a group of people walking in front of a building: The coronavirus has killed more than 35,000 people in Italy © Vincenzo PINTO The coronavirus has killed more than 35,000 people in Italy

Italians head to the polls this weekend, despite a coronavirus resurgence in Europe, for a referendum and Tuscany-led regional elections which analysts say could change the face of the far-right.

It will be the first test for Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's centre-left coalition government since the Covid-19 outbreak and the economically-crippling nationwide lockdown that followed.

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Italians head to the polls this weekend, despite a coronavirus resurgence in Europe, for a referendum and Tuscany - led regional elections which analysts say could change the face of the far - right . It will be the first test for Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte' s centre-left coalition government since the Covid-19

ROME, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Italy ' s far - right League leader Matteo Salvini staged rallies across Tuscany on Friday, looking to pull off a potentially stunning electoral victory against the left in the picturesque region. Battle for Italy ' s far - right crown in Tuscany - led elections .

"A landslide for the right would push the government in Rome into disarray," Berenberg analyst Florian Hense told AFP.

It could also mark the destiny of far-right League head Matteo Salvini, launching the opposition leader back to stardom should his party snatch the left-wing bastion of Tuscany, or handing his challengers the ammunition to replace him should it lose.

Voters in face masks will cast their ballots on Sunday and Monday, despite the country's top infectologists warning that opening polling stations when Covid-19 case numbers are on the rise is "madness".

a group of people riding on the back of a boat: Tourism has been badly hit © ANDREA PATTARO Tourism has been badly hit

Italy was the first European country to be devastated by the virus, which has officially killed over 35,000 people and infected nearly 300,000 nationwide.

Italy's left defeats far-right bid to take stronghold Tuscany

  Italy's left defeats far-right bid to take stronghold Tuscany Experts warn far-right victories in the elections in seven regions could further fracture the Democratic Party.The two-day vote went ahead despite a threatened resurgence of the coronavirus in Italy, which is now registering more than 1,500 new cases daily.

ROME, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Italy ' s far - right League leader Matteo Salvini staged rallies across Tuscany on Friday, looking to pull off a potentially stunning electoral victory against the left in the picturesque region. Battle for Italy ' s far - right crown in Tuscany - led elections .

MILAN - The far - right looked set to lose a fierce battle for the left-wing bastion of Tuscany in Italy ' s regional elections Monday, in a ballot that had risked weakening an already fragile national government. "It's an extraordinary victory," the region's centre-left candidate Eugenio Giani said

While it currently has fewer new cases than Britain, France or Spain, they still number over 1,000 daily.

- 'Italians first' mantra -

The regional elections will be held in Campania, Liguria, Marche, Puglia, Tuscany, Valle d'Aosta and Veneto.

Between the national election in early 2018 and the Covid-19 outbreak, the right has taken over in 8 out of 9 regional races, partly due to the left's inability to unite behind a single candidate. Experts warn of a repeat at this vote.

A strick lockdown wreaked havoc on the economy © MARCO BERTORELLO A strick lockdown wreaked havoc on the economy

The most high-profile battle is for Tuscany, which has been ruled by the left for 50 years.

The last polls before a pre-vote blackout showed a tight race, with the underdog candidate for Matteo Salvini's far-right League gaining ground.

MEP Susanna Ceccardi, who has adopted Salvini's "Italians first" mantra, held 41.5 percent of voter intentions, compared to 43.7 percent for rival Eugenio Giani from the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), according to polling firm YouTrend.

Italy's left claims victory in battle with far-right for Tuscany

  Italy's left claims victory in battle with far-right for Tuscany The far-right looked set to lose a fierce battle for the left-wing bastion of Tuscany in Italy's regional elections Monday, in a ballot that had risked weakening an already fragile national government. A win in Tuscany would have bolstered the right's claim that the uneasy coalition -- not elected, but installed after the previous government collapsed -- was politically weak, and Italy's president should bring forward the 2023 national election. The PD only narrowly frustrated a League bid in January to take Emilia Romagna, one of its biggest strongholds.

Italians voted Monday in elections that could see the far right take the historic left-wing bastion of Tuscany , one of several regions up for grabs in a ballot that risks weakening an already fragile federal government.

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy reported its lowest daily rise in COVID-19 deaths for nearly two weeks on Saturday and said the number of patients in intensive care had fallen for Battle for Italy ' s far - right crown in Tuscany - led elections . AFP. Conte's Inter on a 'mission' to kill off Juventus domination.

The left is expected to hold onto Campania in the south, but the right-wing coalition of Salvini's League, Giorgia Meloni's far-right Brothers of Italy and ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italy partner may well snatch neighbour Puglia.

Matteo Salvini wearing a suit and tie: Far-right leader Matteo Salvini's popularity has waned © Tiziana FABI Far-right leader Matteo Salvini's popularity has waned

The right is set to win by a long way in its strongholds of Veneto and Liguria, as well as taking the Marche from the left.

Losing the Marche and Puglia would be a blow to the left, but even if it should lose Tuscany too, "I don't think it would topple the government", Franco Pavoncello, political science professor at the John Cabot University in Rome, told AFP.

Political commentator Barbara Fiammeri for Italy's Sole 24 Ore daily agreed, but said the results "could decide the destiny of the leaders", including PD chief Nicola Zingaretti and PM Conte, but particularly Salvini and Meloni.

- Shining star or sinking ship -

"The Tuscany contest will be decisive for Matteo Salvini," whose popularity has waned during the pandemic, she told AFP.

Regional in Italy: the far right does not obtain the expected victory in Tuscany

 Regional in Italy: the far right does not obtain the expected victory in Tuscany © REUTERS / Alessandro Garofalo The leader of the far-right party of the Italian League, Matteo Salvini, about to address the media on the results of the regional elections, in Milan, September 21, 2020. Polling stations are closed in Tuscany, Italy, where regional elections were held. The left claims victory. The far right failed to conquer Tuscany, a left stronghold, which it hoped to make a triumphant symbol of its national ambitions. Six regions in total elected new presidents.

Democrats and election watchers said voting issues in a state that has been plagued for years by similar problems, along with allegations of racial bias, didn't bode well for the November presidential election , when Georgia could be in Battle for Italy ' s far - right crown in Tuscany - led elections .

It was rarely used for generations and came to the fore in the mid-1950s when Southern senators used it to filibuster civil rights legislation. Battle for Italy ' s far - right crown in Tuscany - led elections .

If the League wins "his star will shine once more and no-one will question his leadership. It would a sensational result.

"But if he loses, and Meloni's candidate wins in the Marche and Puglia, Meloni could present a serious challenge," she said.

The referendum is on slashing the number of members of parliament -- from 630 to 400 in the lower house, and 315 to 200 in the upper house -- and is expected to pass, though to little fanfare.

The cost-cutting reform is the brainchild of the co-governing Five Star Movement (M5S).

While its centre-left coalition Democratic Party (PD) partner and parties on the right are theoretically in favour, their support has been lacklustre at best.

The latest polls suggested support for the 'no' vote was growing, but the likely low turnout would probably favour the 'yes' vote.

A disappointing result on the referendum could make an already poorly-performing M5S, which has a strained relationship with the PD, "even more nervous, and an even less unreliable coalition partner", Hense said.

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