Centre-right surges to victory in Basilicata regional elections

Vito Bardi won the Basilicata regional elections in a victory for Italy's right-wing

POTENZA - The centre-right have made important gains in regional elections as League and Forza Italia backed candidate Vito Bardi won the state seat, while the 5 Star Movement lost around half of their votes.

 Vito Bardi’s victory was announced with almost one hundred ballots boxes still to count as his share of the votes became unassailable, and it marked the first time in 24 years that the election has not been won by a left-wing candidate.

 Once all votes were counted, Bardi had 42.20 per cent of the electorate while second placed centre-left candidate Carlo Trerotola could only amass 33.11% of votes in what came as a blow to the Partito Democratico.

 The heaviest losses, however, were sustained by the 5 Star Movement party. Their candidate ranked only third with just over 20 per cent of the vote and, while they are still the region’s most supported party, their support dropped dramatically by around half to 20.31 per cent.

 Matteo Salvini was quick to express his support for the result on social media. His post on Twitter read: “Thank you! The League has tripled its votes in a year, winning in Basilicata as well!”

 “Time to change Europe,” he added as Italy prepares for its European elections at the end of May.

 Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was also quick to celebrate the victory for Italy’s right-wing, writing on Facebook: “Hurray! Basilicata has finally given itself a good government. Congratulations to all our friends in Basilicata who knew how to vote well!”

 After being declared victor, Bardi declared: “We have written history: Basilicata is ready for change. I will ring Silvio Berlusconi, Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni to throw a huge party.”

 Bardi promised that jobs were at the top of his agenda and that transparency, meritocracy and legality would be at the heart of all his political decisions.