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03:48

Italy: Key regional election underway that could enable Salvini victory

Italy, Bologna
January 26, 2020 at 18:58 GMT +00:00 · Published

Polls in the Emilia-Romagna and Calabria regions opened on Sunday that could spell the end of Emilia-Romagna staying a stronghold of the Italian left and facilitate right-wing League leader Matteo Salvini's return to power.

Footage filmed in Bologna on Sunday shows voters visiting the polling stations and casting their votes.

Local League candidate Lucia Borgonzoni said she was feeling "optimistic" about the results because "the air is changing even in big cities."

Another voter expressed his dismay that "the neck-and-neck is already bad news. There is a different perception between living in the city and living in the province where the efforts of the right have been concentrated. It has been a very ugly campaign from their point of view and it is worrisome how they used certain means as a political leverage."

Salvini’s League party has been recently campaigning in the towns and countryside of the wealthy Emilia-Romagna region that has voted left for over 70 years, promising to cut taxes. The region is home to Ferrari, Parmesan cheese and the “Sardine” left-wing movement that emerged in Bologna at the end of last year that organised demonstrations attended by thousands. The result is expected to be very close between the League and centre-left Democratic Party (PD), which governs Italy in coalition with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S).

Polling stations will close at 11pm, and votes are expected to have been counted by Monday.

03:48
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Description

Polls in the Emilia-Romagna and Calabria regions opened on Sunday that could spell the end of Emilia-Romagna staying a stronghold of the Italian left and facilitate right-wing League leader Matteo Salvini's return to power.

Footage filmed in Bologna on Sunday shows voters visiting the polling stations and casting their votes.

Local League candidate Lucia Borgonzoni said she was feeling "optimistic" about the results because "the air is changing even in big cities."

Another voter expressed his dismay that "the neck-and-neck is already bad news. There is a different perception between living in the city and living in the province where the efforts of the right have been concentrated. It has been a very ugly campaign from their point of view and it is worrisome how they used certain means as a political leverage."

Salvini’s League party has been recently campaigning in the towns and countryside of the wealthy Emilia-Romagna region that has voted left for over 70 years, promising to cut taxes. The region is home to Ferrari, Parmesan cheese and the “Sardine” left-wing movement that emerged in Bologna at the end of last year that organised demonstrations attended by thousands. The result is expected to be very close between the League and centre-left Democratic Party (PD), which governs Italy in coalition with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S).

Polling stations will close at 11pm, and votes are expected to have been counted by Monday.

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