Italy’s right-wing leader Matteo Salvini failed in his effort to overturn decades of leftist rule in the northern region of Emilia-Romagna on Sunday in an election that brought huge relief to the embattled center-left.
Pollster forecasts based on an ongoing count predicted the incumbent PD governor, Stefano Bonaccini, had won between 51%-49% of the vote compared to 43%-45% for the candidate backed by the League and its allies.
Salvini had campaigned relentlessly in the region since the start of the year, seeking a shock victory that he hoped would bring down the fragile national government, which includes the PD and is riven by internal strife.
Although he fell short in Emilia-Romagna, Salvini took comfort from the fact that his rightist bloc had secured a resounding victory in a separate regional election held on Sunday in the underdeveloped southern toe of Italy, Calabria.
The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, looked on course to win barely 5% of the vote in Emilia-Romagna and little more than 6% in Calabria.