Breathless in Abruzzo, eyes on the turnout

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Breathless in Abruzzo, eyes on the turnout

Only a few weeks ago, Marco Marsilio and Luciano D’Amico would not have imagined having the spotlight of all of Italy focused on their respective electoral committees. The two candidates for the presidency of the Abruzzo Region, on the eve of the vote, try to enjoy a few hours of relaxation. But the tension is palpable. It’s not easy for both of them to get over the worries of a race to the last vote. Between car trips, stages, squares and crowds. And with all the protagonists of national politics flocking to the four provinces to support them: proof that the match played here is not just a local dispute, but something more. The final result, however, will be decided by the voters of Abruzzo.

From 7am to 11pm, when the polls are open, the ball is all theirs. Meanwhile, in the long electoral silence, political leaders browse through predictions and cultivate hopes. On both sides, all eyes are on the turnout data. With the second partial data, that of 7pm, which could already dampen enthusiasm or increase fears.

The centre-right, in support of Marsilio, is convinced that it can achieve a historic result: confirming an outgoing president at the helm of the Region. The centre-left, with a very wide field in support of D’amico, believes in a comeback that was considered almost impossible at the start of the competition. But between the first moments and the last fiery days of the Abruzzo campaign, the response from the Sardinian polls arrived. “The Sardinia effect”, as many define it, has ignited spirits and made it increasingly clear that a mini-test for national politics could be played out in Abruzzo.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, after having forced Paolo Truzzu’s Sardinian candidacy, puts her face on another flagship candidate: the very faithful Marsilio, first regional president of FdI. The center-left highlights the nervousness and concern of its opponents, insisting on the fact that a defeat of Meloni’s candidate in Abruzzo could represent a serious blow for the government. Hypothesis rejected by the centre-right leaders, who united on stage in Pescara downplayed it: no backlash for the majority. However, the Abruzzo polls remain a further test, after the Sardinian one, to weigh the internal balance between the governing parties. Also in view of the European elections.

With the League risking overtaking Forza Italia, and which in the event of a collapse of consensus would see internal discontent worsen. The very large camp in support of the former rector of UniTeramo believes instead that the Sardinian wind can also blow here in Abruzzo. It is no coincidence that D’Amico chose to close alongside Alessandra Todde a campaign based on clear opposition to the right, in an attempt to make the local and the national coincide, in the eyes of the voters, the Marsilio junta with the Meloni government.

The center-left relaunches its “unity” from Abruzzo and sees the possibility of a rapprochement between Elly Schlein’s PD and Giuseppe Conte’s M5s. Who are committed to building a government alternative and hope for the opinion of the people of Abruzzo. It is precisely from the parts of an enthusiastic center-left that we will look more insistently at the turnout data, with the hope of recovering ground in the segment of the disappointed and undecided. That the turnout could move the bar, even if slightly, is a widespread opinion even in part of the opposing camp. But the centre-right, after a campaign focused on local good governance, in continuity with the national one, is convinced: there will be no head-to-head. A positive forecast, given by the belief of having built strong lists, with candidates who have rooted their consensus in the territory. One thing is certain. Since 2010, in Italy, it hasn’t happened that only two candidates have competed for a governor’s seat. A circumstance that favored the polarization of the dispute.

Now the two Abruzzo contenders try to rest. Marsilio goes jogging and goes to the museum. D’Amico has lunch with his family in Torricella Peligna. Tomorrow they will follow the counting in Pescara, together with over 200 accredited press operators.

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