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Administrative elections 2021, the challenge of the ballots

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ROME. Over five million citizens to vote, but it will be above all the ballots of Rome and Turin that will give the definitive sign to this round of administrative elections. Today and tomorrow in 65 municipalities the voters return to the polling stations to choose their mayor and there is no doubt, as the secretary dem Enrico Letta said immediately after the first round, that the overall political reading derives “from the results of the big cities” , precisely Rome, Turin and Trieste. A vote that, inevitably, has taken on a strongly political character, after the Fanpage journalistic inquiries on the relations between the extreme right and parties such as Lega and Fdi and after the clashes in the streets last weekend, with Forza Nuova as protagonist.

It was enough to listen to the closing speech of Enrico Michetti’s election campaign in Rome last Friday. An event in which Giorgia Meloni participated in person, while Matteo Salvini connected on video and Silvio Berlusconi by telephone. The center-right candidate takes the lead, having taken 30% against the 27% of rival Roberto Gualtieri supported by the center-left.

But it is an advantage on which the leaders of the center-right do not have too many illusions. Already two weeks ago the turnout had been low, in the capital even a little below 50%, and this is precisely the first challenge for Michetti to win: bringing all the voters of the first round back to vote is not at all obvious, the ballot traditionally it hardly warms the hearts of the militants of Fi, Lega and Fdi. Moreover, Michetti knows that Gualtieri has a higher expansion potential, at least on paper: a part of Carlo Calenda’s votes – starting with that of the former minister – will go to the center-left candidate and something should also come from M5s. It is certainly complex to understand how the M5s militants will behave, with Virginia Raggi out of the ballot. The image of Giuseppe Conte and Gualtieri together under the trade union box yesterday in Piazza San Giovanni says a lot about the choice of the M5s leader, but it has to be shown that the whole Roman base accepts the prudent invitation to vote for the center-left candidate.

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A complicated situation also in Turin, where in the first round the center-left candidate Stefano Lo Russo obtained 43.8%, trailing Paolo Damilano of the center-right by almost five points, who stopped at 38.9%. Also in this case the 5 stars will play the part of the tip of the scales, and it is not easy to understand how the voters of the Movement will orient themselves to the vote: relations with the Democratic Party, and with Lo Russo in particular, have been stormy over the 5 years. passed, but certainly many are also wondering whether abstaining is the right choice, with the risk of favoring the comeback of the center-right candidate.

In Trieste, the outgoing mayor Roberto Di Piazza, of the center-right, reaches the second round with 46.9% while the candidate of the center-left – the Latvian Francesco Russo – stopped at 31.6%. In all, in addition to Rome, Turin and Trieste, there are ten capitals where voting will be held: Varese, Savona, Latina, Benevento, Caserta, Isernia and Cosenza. The polls will be open today from 7 to 23 and tomorrow from 7 to 15.

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