January 27, 2023 14:50 GMT
Meloni Gov't Faces First Electoral Test In Mid-Feb Regional Votes
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Italy's two most populous regions - Lombardy and Lazio - hold elections on 12-13 for their regional councils in what will be the first electoral test to gauge the popularity of PM Giorgia Meloni's right-wing coalition gov't.
- Lombardy in northern Italy centered on the city of Milan is governed by a right-wing coalition under President Attilio Fontana from the right-wing populist League. Opinion polling shows that the coalition is likely to retain its majority, but with the nationalist Brothers of Italy (FdI) overtaking the League as the largest party.
- The central region of Lazio containing the Italian capital Rome is governed by a coalition including the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and left-wing populist 5-Star Movement (M5S). Opinion polls show that centre-right coalition presidential candidate, former head of the Italian Red Cross Francesco Rocca ahead of the centre-left and M5S candidates. Despite this, the centre-left coalition and M5S together may win enough seats to retain a majority and keep control of the regional presidency.
- The elections are the first to take place since the election of the Meloni gov't in September 2022. Strong performances by the centre-right could boost Meloni's govt as it struggles with public perceptions over strikes at the country's petrol stations that have not yet seen fuel shortages, but have raised concerns among the population of future supplies.