ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s far-right League made strong gains in a first round of mayoral elections on Sunday, while its coalition partner the 5-Star Movement struggled and the center-left lost further ground.
Some seven million Italians were eligible to elect mayors in 760 towns and cities, including 20 provincial capitals. Run-offs will be held on June 24 where no candidate reached 50 percent.
Candidates - League - Victories - Treviso - Vicenza
Candidates backed by the League won outright victories in Treviso and Vicenza in the north-east and were leading in numerous other cities where the incumbent mayor was from the center-left.
“I’m very happy, for the mayors … and because we have reached the run-off in cities that have always been hard for us,” said League leader Matteo Salvini, who is deputy prime minister in Italy’s new coalition government.
Ballot - Test - Voter - Sentiment - Coalition
The ballot was the first test of voter sentiment since the radical 5-Star/League coalition took power this month following an inconclusive March 4 election, promising to slash taxes, hike welfare spending and challenge European Union budget rules.
5-Star, which is by far the largest group in parliament and is Italy’s most popular party, according to opinion...
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