Apulian regional election, 2010
The Apulian regional election of 2010 took place in Apulia, Italy, on 28–29 March 2010.
The outgoing President Nichi Vendola of Left Ecology Freedom (SEL) was elected for a second-consecutive term, after having won the a primary election in which he beat a Democrat and having benefited from the split of the centre-right, whose two candidates jointly won 51.0% of the vote.
Vendola's party, SEL, had a strong showing in the Region by coming third with 9.7% of the vote, after The People of Freedom (31.1%) and the Democratic Party (20.8%).
The incumbent left-wing president Nichi Vendola, who in 2005 surprisingly defeated a centrist in the centre-left primary election and then the outgoing President Raffaele Fitto, is under attack by his own coalition. Vendola, a gay communist President in a fairly conservative region, will find hard to get re-election in a time when the centre-right led by Silvio Berlusconi is ahead of the centre-left both in Apulia and the whole country. Moreover Vendola, after having left the Communist Refoundation Party in early 2009, instead of joining the Democratic Party (PD), the largest party of the centre-left, started a small outfit named Left and Freedom and launched his bid.
The Democrats acknowledge that they need a larger coalition in order to beat the centre-right and they are thus trying to convince Vendola to give up his bid and to endorse a more centrist candidate that could obtain the support of the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats (UDC) and Adriana Poli Bortone's I South movement. Michele Emiliano, Mayor of Bari and PD regional leader, has been constantly mentioned as a possible candidate who may receive the support also of the UDC. For her part Poli Bortone may be interested in the race but her right-wing upbringing (she was a member of the Italian Social Movement and of National Alliance) would undoubtedly stir the left.
In a succession of events between late December 2009 and January 2010, Emiliano turned against Vendola (whom he supported until then), asked his party's regional assembly to unanimously endorse him, the assembly of the party was suspended because of clashes between Emiliano and Vendola supporters, then Emiliano accepted to contest a primary election with Vendola and finally withdrew from the race, leaving the PD without a strong candidate.
Finally Vendola was chosen as candidate of the centre-left in a primary election on 25 January 2010. The People of Freedom (PdL) of Berlusconi and Fitto subsequently chose Rocco Palese, leader of Forza Italia–PdL group in the Regional Council and former Vice President of Fitto, while the UDC launched Poli Bortone.
Centre-left primary election
After that Emiliano renounced his bid, the PD proposed Francesco Boccia as its candidate and the UDC endorsed him. However, as Vendola did not intend to withdraw from the race, the PD accepted to run a coalition primary election between Vendola and Boccia. This was a re-edition of the 2005 primary election, in which Boccia was narrowly defeated by Vendola.
On 25 January 2010 an unprecedented number of Apulian citizens turned out to vote in the primary and Vendola trounced Boccia in the primary, by winning over 62% of the votes cast.
|Nichi Vendola (SEL)||137,521||67.2|
|Francesco Boccia (PD)||66,991||32.8|
Source: Nichi Vendola campaign website
General election results
|Candidates & parties||votes||votes (%)||seats|
|Left Ecology Freedom (inc. PSI)||192,604||9.74||11|
|Italy of Values||127,865||6.47||6|
|Apulia for Vendola||109,382||5.53||6|
|Federation of the Left–Greens||64,441||3.26||-|
|The People of Freedom||615,064||31.10||20|
|Apulia First of All||139,379||7.05||4|
|The Apulians for Rocco Palese||95,070||4.81||2|
|Alliance of the Centre||11,047||0.56||0|
|Adriana Poli Bortone||185,370||8.71||4|
|Union of the Centre||128,542||6.50||4|
|Communist Alternative Party||5,834||0.30||-|
- Four regional councillors out of the eleven elected by Left Ecology Freedom, including Onofrio Introna, President of the Regional Council, belong to the Italian Socialist Party. See http://www.partitosocialista.it/site/il-partito_consiglieri-regionali/491/consiglieri-regionali.aspx.