Italy’s far-right League party seizes left-wing strongholds
Municipal voters in Tuscany embrace populist, anti-immigrant message
Candidates backed by Matteo Salvini’s far-right League emerged victorious in Italian municipal elections held on Sunday. They took a trio of left-wing bastions in Tuscany, ensuring the decline of the center-left Democratic Party.
Salvini’s right-wing alliance took control of Siena, Pisa and Massa, confirming the popularity of the 45-year-old interior minister and his Euroskeptic, anti-immigrant message, according to final results on Monday morning.
Salvini’s League has been running Italy alongside the anti-establishment Five Star Movement since June 1, but in local elections it had joined forces with Forza Italia, the center-right party led by Silvio Berlusconi, and the far-right Brothers of Italy.
“These are historic wins for the League in towns that have been administered by the left for decades: THANKS!!!” Salvini wrote on Facebook early on Monday. “The more the left insults us, the more the citizens reward us.”
The results rattled the Italian financial markets on Monday morning. The FTSE MIB stock index dropped 1.5% in Milan and government debt was sold off.