Flop shakes the centre-right, Meloni fears the domino effect


Flop shakes the centre-right, Meloni fears the domino effect
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Fears of a domino effect are shaking the centre-right now that defeat in Sardinia is looming, with the level of tension set to rise. For more detailed political analyses, and the consequent internal processes, it will be necessary to verify the gap between Alessandra Todde and Paolo Truzzu, the candidate wanted by Giorgia Meloni at all costs, made official just over a month ago after a tug-of-war with Matteo Salvini, which aimed at the confirmation of Christian Solinas. In the evening the game is given up as lost, considering the consequences of the first electoral defeat since the coalition came into government. But the epilogue was already beginning to take shape when around 1pm the Prime Minister, Salvini and Antonio Tajani met at Palazzo Chigi for a working lunch.

An appointment agreed after Wednesday's rally in Cagliari, to restart government action with “greater political harmony”. All in a “very positive and relaxed atmosphere”, according to sources at Palazzo Chigi. FI notes with satisfaction that it has practically doubled the League in Sardinia (6.9% against 3.7 according to non-definitive data), even if Northern League sources suggest adding the League's votes to those of the Sardinian Action Party (over 5%), born as a list to support Solinas. Suspicion and concern therefore reign. In the evening Salvini canceled an interview with Quarta Repubblica on Rete4 but behind the silence, his people assure, there is no rancor or desire for a showdown: during the election campaign, they assure, the maximum was done. However, the fears for the next electoral tests are clear.

On 10 March in Abruzzo (where Marco Marsilio from Melonia is looking for an encore and where the three leaders are expected on the 5th), and on 21-22 April in Basilicata, where FI is counting on the confirmation of Vito Bardi (“The candidate will be him, I'm absolutely convinced”, says Tajani) but the game is not completely over. But above all the European Championships in June, a potential watershed. A scenario in which the risk of further fibrillations in the center-right weighs heavily, starting with the third mandate for governors, on which the League will insist despite the disagreement of its allies.

During the long count, nervousness mounts from the morning in front of the incoming data from Sardinia. Before 10am the FdI member of Cagliari Salvatore Deidda reasoned like this: “We pay for the fact that perhaps in five years we have not governed exactly brilliantly”. There is a strong belief within both FdI and FI that focusing on Solinas would have made things worse. The most significant data, however, is in Cagliari, where Truzzu has been mayor since 2019 and which the League has been targeting for weeks. The Northern League members are biting their tongues on this. It was known that he is not very loved in his city, some Melonians now admit, but his electoral campaign was very short. And even within FI the arms are wide open: he was not the ideal candidate. Alternatives were not plentiful. But the lost bet will cost the prime minister criticism, also and above all in internal analyses.

The scissors of defeat will help to better examine responsibilities. In the first analyzes in Meloni's party, however, suspicions are already spreading about the effect of the disjointed vote of those who left their mark on the symbol of the League but not on Truzzu: they estimate by a wide margin that he would have taken 4 points away from the mayor of Cagliari, decisive if the gap from Todde were to be confirmed as contained. This is nonsense, the Northern League members cut it short.

If Salvini hadn't insisted on Solinas it would have gone differently, it's another observation from those who are convinced that Meloni always tries to give unity to the coalition while others tend to play on their own. Inside FI we try to reduce the test to a local dynamic, an incident in which the Solinas “disaster” weighs heavily: no domino effect. And yet the crisis of the League is highlighted. “It no longer exists, not only in Sardinia”, notes an Italian player. It is not absurd to think that Tajani's party will now try to capitalize as much as possible on the rift between FdI and Lega. Meanwhile, in the next few hours, the coalition table on administrative elections could receive the green light for former minister Adriana Poli Bortone, 80, as the centre-right candidate for Lecce.

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