The regional elections in the Italian regions of Emilia Romagna and Calabria, to which 5.2 million voters are now called, are showing a lively turnout. In Emilia Romagna, 23 percent of the 3.5 million eligible voters had cast their votes by noon. The polling stations are open until 11 p.m.
The turnout was twice as high as in the last regional elections five years ago, said the Italian Ministry of the Interior. In southern Italy, Calabria, ten percent of the 1.7 million eligible voters had voted by noon, two percent more than in the last regional elections. Above all, the election in Emilia Romagna is a litmus test for the government forces – five-star movement and social democrats – for the impartial Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
Salvini hopes for a tailwind
Matteo Salvini, head of the right-wing Lega party, wants to prove with a success in the left stronghold of Emilia Romagna that the political mood in Italy has definitely turned to the right and, in this case, wants to emphasize his call for early parliamentary elections at national level ,
Ex-Minister of the Interior candidate, Lucia Borgonzoni, is up against outgoing regional president Stefano Bonaccini, who, as the top Socialist candidate, is hoping to be re-elected for a second mandate.
In Calabria, with 1.7 million voters, a clear victory for center-right candidate Jole Santelli from the party of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Forza Italia, is expected. The 51-year-old lawyer competes against the 73-year-old entrepreneur Pippo Callipo as a representative of the Social Democrats.