Democratic Party (Italy)
|Coordinator||Maurizio Migliavacca (resigned)|
|Founded||14 October 2007|
|Merger of||Democrats of the Left, Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy, minor parties|
|Headquarters||Via S. Andrea delle Fratte 16
|Youth wing||Young Democrats|
|National affiliation||Italy. Common Good
|International affiliation||Progressive Alliance|
|European Parliament group||Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats|
|Chamber of Deputies|
The Democratic Party (Italian: Partito Democratico, PD) is a social-democratic political party in Italy. Along with The People of Freedom and the Five Star Movement, it is one of the three major parties in the country. The party's leader is Guglielmo Epifani, who replaced Pier Luigi Bersani in May 2013.
The party was founded on 14 October 2007 as a merger of various left-wing and centrist parties which were part of The Union in the 2006 general election. Several parties merged into the Democratic Party, however its bulk was formed by the Democrats of the Left (heirs of the Italian Communist Party) and Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy. Within the party, an important role is played also by Christian leftists, who are direct heirs of the late Christian Democracy's left.
After Silvio Berlusconi's resignation in November 2011, the PD externally supported Mario Monti's government. Since April 2013 Enrico Letta, a Democrat, has been Prime Minister of Italy, at the head of a government of grand coalition including The People of Freedom, Civic Choice and the Union of the Centre.
Other than Epifani, Letta and Bersani, prominent members of the PD include Walter Veltroni, Massimo D'Alema, Romano Prodi, Rosy Bindi, Dario Franceschini, Anna Finocchiaro, Matteo Renzi, Vasco Errani, Enrico Rossi and Piero Fassino.
The Olive Tree
In the early 1990s, following Tangentopoli, the end of the so-called First Republic and the transformation of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) into the Democratic Party of the Left (PDS), a process aimed at uniting left-wing and centre-left forces into a single political entity was started. In 1995–1996 Romano Prodi, a former minister of Industry who had been close to the left-wing of Christian Democracy (DC), entered politics and founded The Olive Tree (Ulivo), a centre-left coalition including the PDS, the Italian People's Party (PPI), the Federation of the Greens (FdV), Italian Renewal (RI), the Italian Socialists (SI) and Democratic Union (UD). The coalition, in alliance with the Communist Refoundation Party (PRC), won the 1996 general election and Prodi was sworn in as Prime Minister.
In 1998 the PDS was transformed into the Democrats of the Left (DS) with the merger of other centre-left parties, while in 2002 the PPI, RI and The Democrats (Prodi's own party, launched in 1999) formed Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy (DL). In the summer of 2003, Romano Prodi suggested that the centre-left forces would participate in the 2004 European Parliament election with a common list. Whereas the UDEUR Populars and the far-left parties refused the offer, four parties accepted it: the DS, DL, the Italian Democratic Socialists (SDI) and the European Republicans Movement (MRE). They launched a joint list named "United in the Olive Tree" which ran in the election and garnered 31.1% of the vote. The project was later abandoned in 2005 by the SDI. In the 2006 general election the list obtained 31.3% of the vote for the Chamber of Deputies.
Road to the new party
The project of a "Democratic Party" was often mentioned by Prodi as the natural evolution of The Olive Tree and was envisioned in a 2003 appeal in Il Foglio by Michele Salvati, a former centrist deputy of the DS. The term Partito Democratico (PD) was used for the first time in a formal context by the DL and DS members of the Regional Council of Veneto, who chose to form a joint group named L'Ulivo – Partito Democratico Veneto (The Olive Tree – Venetian Democratic Party) in March 2007.
The 2006 election result, anticipated by the 2005 primary election in which over four million voters endorsed Prodi as candidate for Prime Minister, gave a push to the project of a unified centre-left party. Francesco Rutelli and Piero Fassino, party leaders of DL and the DS respectively, scheduled their parties' congresses for April 2007 in order to formally approve the merger.
On 19 April 2007 the DS held their last party congress, during which approximately 75% of party members voted in support of the creation of the PD as soon as possible. The left-wing minority, led by Fabio Mussi, opposed the merger, but obtained just 15% of the support within the party. A third motion, presented by Gavino Angius and supportive of the PD only within the Party of European Socialists (PES), obtained 10% of the vote. During and following the congress, both Mussi and Angius announced their intention not to join the PD and founded a new party called Democratic Left (SD).
On 22 May 2007 the composition of the organising committee of the nascent party was announced. It featured 45 members, mainly politicians from the two major parties involved in the process, but included also external figures such as Marco Follini, Ottaviano Del Turco, Luciana Sbarbati, Renato Soru, Giuliano Amato, Gad Lerner and Tullia Zevi. On 18 June the committee met to decide the rules for the open election of the 2,400 members of the party's constituent assembly. Prodi announced each voter would choose between a number of lists, each of them associated with a candidate for secretary.
The parties which agreed to merge into the PD were eight:
- Democrats of the Left (social-democratic)
- Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy (centrist).
- Southern Democratic Party (centrist);
- Sardinia Project (social-democratic);
- European Republicans Movement (social-liberal);
- Democratic Republicans (social-liberal);
- Middle-of-the-Road Italy (centrist);
- Reformist Alliance (social-democratic).
All candidates interested in running for the PD leadership had to be associated with one of the founding parties and present at least 2,000 valid signatures by 30 July 2007. A total of ten candidates officially registered their candidacy: Walter Veltroni, Rosy Bindi, Enrico Letta, Furio Colombo, Marco Pannella, Antonio Di Pietro, Mario Adinolfi, Pier Giorgio Gawronski, Jacopo Schettini, Lucio Cangini and Amerigo Rutigliano. Of these, Pannella and Di Pietro were stopped because of their involvement in external parties (the Italian Radicals and Italy of Values respectively), whereas Cangini and Rutigliano did not manage to present the necessary 2,000 valid signatures for the 9pm deadline, and Colombo's candidacy was instead made into hiatus in order to give him 48 additional hours to integrate the required documentation; Colombo later decided to retire his candidacy citing his impossibility to fit with all the requirements. All rejected candidates had the chance against the decision in 48 hours' time, with Pannella and Rutigliano being the only two candidates to appeal against it. Both were rejected on 3 August.
On 14 October 2007 Veltroni was elected leader with circa 75% of the national votes in an open primary attended by over three million voters. Veltroni was officially crowned as first PD secretary during the founding constituting assembly held in Milan on 28 October 2007.
On 21 November, the new logo was unveiled; it depicts the party acronym (PD) with colours reminiscent of the Italian tricolour flag (green, white and red) and featuring also the olive branch, historical symbol of the Olive Tree. In the words of Ermete Realacci, green represents the ecologist and social-liberal cultures, white is for the Catholic solidarity and red for the socialist and social-democratic traditions. The "green-white-red" idea was coined by Schettini during his campaign.
After the premature fall of Prodi II Cabinet in January 2008, the party decided to run in the next election alone or at the head of a less diverse coalition. The party proposed to the Radicals and the Socialist Party to join its lists, but only the Radicals accepted, and formed an alliance with Italy of Values (IdV), set to join the PD after the election. The party included many notable candidates and new faces in its lists and Walter Veltroni, who tried to present the PD as the party of the renewal in contrast both with Silvio Berlusconi and the previous centre-left government, ran an intense and modern campaign, which led him to visit all provinces of Italy, but that was not enough.
In the 2008 general election the PD–IdV coalition won 37.5% of the vote and was defeated by the centre-right coalition, composed of The People of Freedom, Lega Nord and the Movement for Autonomy (46.8%). The PD was able to absorb some votes from the parties of the far left (as also IdV did), but lost voters to the Union of the Centre (UdC), ending up with 33.2% of the vote, 217 deputies and 119 senators. After the election Veltroni, who was anyway gratified by the result, formed a shadow cabinet. IdV, excited by its 4.4% which made it the fourth largest party in Parliament, refused to join both the Democratic groups and the shadow cabinet.
The early months after the election were a difficult time for the PD and Veltroni, whose leadership was weakened by the growing influence of internal factions, because of the popularity of Berlusconi and the dramatic rise of IdV in opinion polls. IdV became a strong competitor of the PD and the relations between the two parties became tense. In the 2008 Abruzzo regional election the PD was forced to support IdV candidate Carlo Costantini. In October 2008 Veltroni, who distanced from Di Pietro many times, declared that "on some issues he [Di Pietro] is distant from the democratic language of the centre-left". On 25 October the PD held its first national rally at Circo Massimo, Rome, to protest against Silvio Berlusconi's policies. According to the organising committee, over 2.5 million people attended the rally.
In February 2009, after a crushing defeat in the Sardinian regional election, Walter Veltroni resigned as party secretary and was replaced by his deputy Dario Franceschini on an interim basis to guide the party toward the selection of a new stable leader. Franceschini was elected by the party's national assembly with 1,047 votes out of 1,258. His only opponent Arturo Parisi won just 92 votes.
The 2009 European Parliament election was considered an important test for the PD. Prior to the election, the PD considered offering hospitality to the Socialist Party (PS) and the Greens in its lists, and proposed a similar pact to Democratic Left (SD). However, the Socialists, the Greens and Democratic Left decided instead to contest the election together as Left and Freedom, which failed to achieve the 4% threshold required to return any MEPs, but damaged the PD, which gained 26.1% of the vote, returning 21 MEPs.
Pier Luigi Bersani
On 8 October 2009 the party's electoral commission released the results of the vote among party members. In the local congresses a 56.4% of party members got out and vote. Bersani was by far the most voted candidate with 55.1% of the vote, largely ahead of Franceschini (37.0%) and Marino (7.9%). On 25 October 2009, Bersani was elected new secretary of the party in an open primary that saw the participation of three million people by receiving about 53% of the vote. Franceschini got 34% and Marino 13%. On 7 November, during the first meeting of the new national assembly, Bersani was declared secretary, Rosy Bindi was elected party president (with Marina Sereni and Ivan Scalfarotto vice-presidents), Enrico Letta deputy secretary and Antonio Misiani treasurer.
In reaction to the election of Bersani, perceived by some moderates as an old-style social democrat, Francesco Rutelli, a long-time critic of the party's course, and other centrist and liberal figures left in order to form a new centrist party, named Alliance for Italy (ApI). The new outfit was tipped to eventually join forces with the Union of the Centre (UdC) at the centre of the Italian political spectrum. Since March 2009, and especially after Bersani's victory, many deputies, senators, one MEP and several regional/local councillors left the party in order to join UDC, ApI and other minor parties: they included many Rutelliani and most Theo-Dems.
At the big round of regional elections of 2010 the PD lost four regions to the centre-right (Piedmont, Lazio, Campania and Calabria), while maintaining its hold on six (Liguria, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Marche, Umbria and Basilicata) plus Apulia, a traditionally conservative region where, due to divisions within the centre-right, Nichi Vendola of Left Ecology Freedom (SEL) was re-elected with the PD's support.
On 16 September 2011 Bersani was invited by Antonio Di Pietro's Italy of Values (IdV) to take part to its annual late summer convention in Vasto, Abruzzo. Bersani, who had been previously accused by Di Pietro of avoiding him in order to court the centre-right UdC, proposed the formation of a "New Olive Tree" coalition comprising the PD, IdV and SEL. The three party leaders agreed in what was soon the "pact of Vasto".
Road to 2013
A year after the "pact of Vasto", the relations between the PD and Italy of Values (IdV) had become tense. IdV and its leader, Antonio Di Pietro, were thus excluded from the coalition talks led by Bersani. To these talks were instead invited Left Ecology Freedom (SEL), led by Nichi Vendola, and the Italian Socialist Party (PSI), led by Riccardo Nencini. The talks resulted, on 13 October 2012, in the "Pact of Democrats and Progressives" (better known as Italy. Common Good) and produced the rules for the upcoming centre-left primary election, during which the PD–SEL–PSI joint candidate for prime minister in the 2013 general election would be selected.
In the primary the strongest challenge to Bersani was posed by a fellow Democrat, the 37-years old mayor of Florence Matteo Renzi, a liberal modernizer, who had officially launched his bid on 13 September 2012 in Verona, Veneto. Bersani launched his own bid on 14 October in his hometown Bettola, north-western Emilia. Other candidates included Nichi Vendola (SEL), Bruno Tabacci (ApI), and Laura Puppato (PD).
In the meantime, in the 2012 regional election Rosario Crocetta, a Democrat, was elected President with 30.5% of the vote thanks to the support of the UdC, but the coalition failed to secure an outright majority in the Regional Assembly. For the first time in 50 years, a man of the left had the chance to govern Sicily.
On 25 November Bersani came ahead in the first round of the primary election with 44.9% of the vote, Renzi came second with 35.5%, followed by Vendola (15.6%), Puppato (2.6%) and Tabacci (1.4%). Bersani did better in the South, while Renzi prevailed in Tuscany, Umbria, and Marche. In the subsequent run-off, on 2 December, Bersani trounced Renzi 60.9% to 39.1%, by winning in each and every single region but Tuscany, where Renzi won 54.9% of the vote. The PD secretary did particularly well in Lazio (67.8%), Campania (69.4%), Apulia (71.4%), Basilicata (71.7%), Calabria (74.4%), Sicily (66.5%), and Sardinia (73.5%).
2013 general election
In the election the PD and its coalition fared much worse than they expected and pollsters predicted. The PD won just 25.4% of the vote for the Chamber of Deputies (–8.0% from 2008) and the centre-left coalition narrowly won the majority in the house over the centre-right coalition (29.5% to 29.3%). Even worse, in the Senate the PD and its allies failed to get an outright majority, due to the rise of the Five Star Movement and the centre-right's victory in key regions, such as Lombardy, Veneto, Campania, Apulia, Calabria and Sicily (the centre-right was awarded of the majority premium in those regions, leaving the centre-left with just a handful of elects there). As a result, Bersani, who refused any agreement with The People of Freedom and was rejected by the Five Star Movement, failed to form a government.
On 17 April, after an agreement with the centre-right parties, Bersani put forward Franco Marini as his party's candidate for President. However, Renzi, several Democratic delegates and SEL announced that they would not support Marini. On 18 April Marini received just 521 votes in the first ballot, short of the 672 needed, as more than 200 centre-left delegates rebelled. On 19 April the PD and SEL selected Romano Prodi to be their candidate in the fourth ballot. Despite his candidacy had received unanimous support among the two parties' delegates, Prodi obtained only 395 votes in the fourth ballot as more than 100 centre-left electors did not vote for him. After the vote, Prodi pulled out of the race and Bersani announced his resignation from party secretary. Also Bindi, the party's president, announced her resignation as she did not want to carry responsibility for the party's bad management during the past weeks.
On 28 April Enrico Letta, the party's deputy secretary and former Christian Democrat, was sworn in as Prime Minister of Italy at the head of a government of grand coalition including The People of Freedom, Civic Choice and the Union of the Centre.
After Bersani's resignation from party secretary on 20 April 2013, the PD remained without a leader for two weeks.
On 11 May 2013 at the national assembly of the party Epifani was elected secretary with 85.8% of vote. Epifani, secretary-general of the Italian General Confederation of Labour (CGIL), Italy's largest trade union, from 2002 to 2010, was the first former Socialist to lead the party. Epifani's mission was to lead the party toward a national congress in October.
|This section requires expansion. (January 2008)|
The Democratic Party is a big tent centre-left party, strongly influenced by the ideas of social democracy and the Christian left. The common roots of the founding components of the party reside in the Italian resistance movement, the writing of Italian Constitution and the Historic compromise, all three events which saw the Christian Democrats and the Italian Communist Party (the two major forerunners of Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy and the Democrats of the Left, respectively) cooperate. The United States Democratic Party and American liberalism are also an important source of inspiration.
The party stresses national and social cohesion, green issues, social progressivism, progressive taxation and Europeanism. In this respect the party's precursors strongly supported the need of balancing budgets in order to comply to Maastricht criteria. Under the leadership of Veltroni, the party took a strong stance in favour of constitutional reform and of a new electoral law, on the road toward a two-party system.
The international affiliation was a controversial issue for Democratic Party in its early days. The discussion on which European political party to join was divided between the former Democrats of the Left being generally in favour of the Party of European Socialists (PES), and most former members of Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy in favour of the European Democratic Party, a component of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).
After the party's formation in 2007, the new party's MEPs continued to sit with the PES and ALDE groups to which their former parties had been elected during the 2004 European Parliament election. Following the conclusion of the 2009 European Parliament election, the party chose to unite for the new term within a single European parliamentary group, formed with the PES, to be known as the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. As of 2013, the Democratic Party has not formally joined a political international. On 15 December 2012 in Rome, PD leader Pier Luigi Bersani attended the foundation meeting of the Progressive Alliance, a nascent political international for parties dissatisfied with the continued admittance and inclusion of authoritarian movements into the Socialist International.
Although not officially recognised, the Democratic Party has several internal factions, most of whom trace the previous allegiances of party members. As the factions form different alliances depending on the issues, some party members have multiple factional allegiances.
2007 leadership election
After the election, which saw the victory of Walter Veltroni, the party's internal composition was as follows:
- Majority led by Walter Veltroni (75.8%)
Three national lists supported the candidacy of Veltroni. The bulk of the former Democrats of the Left (Veltroniani, Dalemiani, Fassiniani), the Rutelliani of Francesco Rutelli (including the Theo-Dem), The Populars of Franco Marini, Liberal PD, the Social Christians and smaller groups (Middle-of-the-Road Italy, European Republicans Movement, Reformist Alliance and the Reformists for Europe) formed a joint-list named "Democrats with Veltroni" (43.7%). The Democratic Ecologists of Ermete Realacci, together with Giovanna Melandri and Cesare Damiano, formed "Environment, Innovation and Labour" (8.1%). The Democrats, Laicists, Socialists, Say Left and the Labourites – Liberal Socialists presented a list named "To the Left" (7.7%). Local lists in support of Veltroni got 16.4%.
The Ulivists, whose members were staunch supporters of Romano Prodi, divided in two camps. The largest one, including Arturo Parisi, endorsed Rosy Bindi, while a smaller one, including Paolo De Castro, endorsed Enrico Letta, as Paolo De Castro. Bindi benefited also from the support of Agazio Loiero's Southern Democratic Party, while Letta was endorsed by Lorenzo Dellai's Daisy Civic List, Renato Soru's Sardinia Project and Gianni Pittella's social democrats.
2009 leadership election
After the election, which saw the victory of Pier Luigi Bersani, the party's internal composition was as follows:
- Majority led by Pier Luigi Bersani (53.2%)
- Bersaniani and Dalemiani: the social-democratic groups around Bersani and Massimo D'Alema (who wants the PD to be a traditional centre-left party in the European social-democratic tradition); D'Alema organized his faction as Reformists and Democrats, welcoming also some Lettiani and some Populars.
- Lettiani: the centrist group around Enrico Letta, known also as 360 Association; its members are keen supporters of an alliance with the Union of the Centre, similarly to what also D'Alema proposes.
- To the Left: the social-democratic and democratic-socialist internal left led by Livia Turco;
- Democrats Really: the group around Rosy Bindi and composed mainly of the left-wing members of the late Italian People's Party.
- Social Christians: a Christian social-democratic group, that was a founding component of the Democrats of the Left.
- Democracy and Socialism: a social-democratic group of splinters from the Socialist Party led by Gavino Angius.
- Veltroniani: followers of Walter Veltroni, basically social democrats coming from the Democrats of the Left who support the so-called "majoritarian vocation" of the party, the selection of party candidates and leaders through primaries and a two-party system.
- Populars/Fourth Phase: heirs of the Christian left tradition of the Italian People's Party and of the left wing of the late Christian Democracy.
- Rutelliani: centrists and liberals gathered around Francesco Rutelli, known also as Free Democrats; most of them left after Bersani's victory to form the Alliance for Italy, while a minority (Paolo Gentiloni, Ermete Realacci, etc.) chose to stay.
- Simply Democrats: a list promoted by a diverse group of leading Democrats (Debora Serracchiani, Rita Borsellino, Sergio Cofferati, David Sassoli and Francesca Barracciu) who were committed to renewal in party leadership and cleanliness of party elects.
- Liberal PD: the liberal (mostly social-liberal) faction of the PD led by Valerio Zanone; its members have been close to Veltroni and Rutelli.
- Democratic Ecologists: the green faction of the PD led by Ermete Realacci; its members have been close to Veltroni and Rutelli.
- Theo-Dems: a tiny Christian-democratic group representing the right-wing of the party on social issues, albeit being progressive on economic ones; most Theo-Dems, including their leader Paola Binetti, left the PD in 2009–2010 in order to join the UdC or the ApI, while others, led by Luigi Bobba, chose to stay.
- Minority led by Ignazio Marino (12.5%)
- un-affiliated social liberals, social democrats and supporters of a broad alliance including Italy of Values, the Radicals and the parties to the left of the PD; after the election, most of them joined Marino in an association named Change Italy.
- Democrats in Network: a social-democratic faction of former Veltroniani led by Goffredo Bettini.
- Non-aligned factions
- Ulivists: followers of Romano Prodi who want the party to be stuck in the tradition of The Olive Tree; the group, which includes both Christian left exponents and social democrats is led by Arturo Parisi. Most Ulivists supported Bersani, while Parisi endorsed Franceschini.
During the summer of 2010, Dario Franceschini, leader of Democratic Area (the largest minority faction), and Piero Fassino re-approached with Pier Luigi Bersani and joined the party majority. As a response, Walter Veltroni formed Democratic Movement to defend the "original spirit" of the PD. In doing this he was supported by 75 deputies: 33 Veltroniani, 35 Populars close to Giuseppe Fioroni and 7 former Rutelliani led by Paolo Gentiloni. During a meeting of the party's national board, held on 23 September, Franceschiniani and Fassiniani voted a motion proposed by Bersani, while most Veltroniani abstained from the vote: the resolution passed by a landslide. Some pundits hinted that the Bersani-Franceschini pact was envisioned in order both to marginalise Veltroni and to reduce the influence of Massimo D'Alema, the party bigwig behind Bersani, whose 2009 bid was supported primarily by Dalemiani. Veltroni and D'Alema had been long-time rivals within the centre-left.
As of September 2010 the party's majority was composed of those who supported Bersani since the beginning (divided in five main factions: Bersaniani, Dalemiani, Lettiani, Bindiani and the party's left-wing) and Democratic Area of Franceschini and Fassino, who tended to be autonomous though. Then, there were two minority coalitions: Veltroni's Democratic Movement (Veltroniani, Fioroni's Populars, ex-Rutelliani, Democratic Ecologists and a majority of Liberal PD members) and Change Italy of Ignazio Marino. Strangely enough, Arturo Parisi, leader of the group formerly known as Ulivists, backed Veltroni.
According to Corriere della Sera, in November 2011 the party was divided mainly in three ideological camps battling for its soul:
- a socialist left: the Young Turks (mostly supporters of Bersani, as Stefano Fassina and Matteo Orfini), might eventually rally behind Enrico Rossi;
- a social-democratic centre: it includes Bersani's core supporters (Bersaniani, Dalemiani, Bindiani); its members might eventually support Nicola Zingaretti instead;
- a "new right": Matteo Renzi's Big Bang; Renzi, who proposes an overtly liberal political line, is openly critical of Bersani and might be endorsed by Veltroniani, ex-Rutelliani, Populars and, possibly, Lettiani and large chunks of Democratic Area.
Since November 2011 similar differences surfaced in the party regarding Monti Cabinet: while the party's right-wing, especially Liberal PD, was enthusiastic in its support of the new government, Fassina and other leftists, especially those linked to the unions, were much less enthusiastic. In February 2012 Fassina published a book in which he described his view as "neo-labourite humanism" and explained it in connection with Catholic social teaching, saying that his "neo-labourism" was designed to attract Catholic voters. Once again, his opposition to economic liberalism was strongly criticized by the party's right-wing as well as by Stefano Ceccanti, a leading Catholic and supporter of Tony Blair's New Labour, who said that a leftist platform à la Fassina would never win back the Catholic vote in places like Veneto.
According to YouTrend, a website, 35% of the Democratic deputies and senators elected in the 2013 general election were Bersaniani, 23% members of Democratic Area (or Democratic Movement), 13% Renziani, 6% Lettiani, 4.5% Dalemiani, 4.5% Young Turks and 2% Bindiani.
As the party performed below expectations, more members began to look at Matteo Renzi, who had been defeated by Bersani in the 2012 primary election to select the centre-left's candidate for Prime Minister. Also some long-time supporters of Bersani, such as Enrico Letta, might propose Renzi as new leader, if Bersani were to fail to form a government (as he did). According to Corriere della Sera, the party's ideological families were being recomposed in four main groups:
- left-wing Bersaniani, including the Young Turks, who would never support Renzi: Stefano Fassina, Matteo Orfini, Enrico Rossi and Guglielmo Epifani;
- rank-and-file Bersaniani who might support Renzi at some conditions: Vasco Errani, Maurizio Migliavacca, Nico Stumpo and Roberto Speranza;
- moderates: Enrico Letta, Dario Franceschini, Giuseppe Fioroni and Rosy Bindi; mainly former Christian Democrats, most of them supported Bersani during the primary, but might switch to Renzi, who also hails from a Christian Democratic household, and was a local leader of the Italian People's Party;
- liberals: Renzi himself (and his supporters, notably including Paolo Gentiloni and Graziano Delrio), Walter Veltroni (and his Veltroniani).
Interestingly enough, after Bersani's resignation from secretary in mid April, also the Young Turks, disillusioned by Bersani and motivated by a generational drive, started to turn their attention to Renzi. If he were to run for the PD's leadership, more traditional social democrats might support Guglielmo Epifani or Fabrizio Barca instead.
The electoral results of the Democratic Party in the 10 most populated Regions of Italy are shown in the table below. As PD was founded in 2007, the electoral results from 1994 to 2006 refer to the combined result of the two main percursor parties, the Democrats of the Left and Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy (and its precursors, 1994–2001), or to the joint-list called The Olive Tree.
|1994 general||1995 regional||1996 general||1999 European||2000 regional||2001 general||2004 European||2005 regional||2006 general||2008 general||2009 European||2010 regional||2013 general|
|Sicily||30.7||26.4 (1996)||26.7||31.6||22.4 (2001)||24.2||28.6||34.8 (2006)||25.3||25.4||21.9||18.8 (2008)||18.6|
|Chamber of Deputies|
|Election year||# of
| % of
overall seats won
|# of seats won
for citizens abroad
|Major party in coalition led by Veltroni.|
|Major party in Italy. Common Good led by Bersani.|
|Senate of the Republic|
|Election year||# of
| % of
overall seats won
|Election year||# of
| % of
overall seats won
- Secretary: Walter Veltroni (2007–2009), Dario Franceschini (2009), Pier Luigi Bersani (2009–2013), Guglielmo Epifani (2013–present)
- Deputy Secretary: Dario Franceschini (2007–2009), Enrico Letta (2009–2013)
- Executive Coordinator: Goffredo Bettini (2007–2009), Maurizio Migliavacca (2009–2013)
- Organizational Secretary: Giuseppe Fioroni (2007–2009), Maurizio Migliavacca (2009), Nico Stumpo (2009–2013)
- Treasurer: Mauro Agostini (2007–2009), Antonio Misiani (2009–present)
- Spokesperson: Andrea Orlando (2008–2013)
- President: Romano Prodi (2007–2008), Anna Finocchiaro (acting, 2008–2009), Rosy Bindi (2009–2013)
- Party Leader in the Chamber of Deputies: Antonello Soro (2007–2009), Dario Franceschini (2009–2013), Roberto Speranza (2013–present)
- Party Leader in the Senate: Anna Finocchiaro (2007–2013), Luigi Zanda (2013–present)
- Party Leader in the European Parliament: David Sassoli (2009–present)
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- Forza Italia failed to present a list and thus some centre-right voters voted for PPI and Patto Segni.
- Includes the score of the Southern Democratic Party (5.1%).
- Combined result of the PD (15.8%) and Agazio Loiero's personal list (7.0%).
- Although she was never elected party president, Finocchiaro presided over all the party's meetings since Prodi's resignation, including the national assembly of 20 June 2008 (see video), the national assembly of 21 February 2009 (see video) and the national congress of 11 October 2009 (see video).
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