Venetian regional election, 2010
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politics and government of
Luca Zaia, rising star of Liga Veneta–Lega Nord, was elected President by a landslide. With the support of 60.2% of Venetians, he was the most voted President of Veneto since direct election was introduced in 1995. Liga Veneta became the largest in the region with 35.2%. The total score of Venetist parties (also including North-East Union, Party of the Venetians, Venetian National Party and Liga Veneto Autonomo) was 37.6%, the highest ever. The People of Freedom of the outgoing President Giancarlo Galan came second with 24.7% of the vote and the Democratic Party third with 20.3%.
Liga Veneta managed the highest swing ever in a regional election in Veneto (+20.5%), gaining from almost every side of the political spectrum, but mainly from The People of Freedom (–7.5%), the Democrats (–8.6%) and North-East Union (–5.1%), whose main member parties were North-East Project (5.4% in 2005) and Liga Veneta Repubblica (1.2%).
After having supported Giancarlo Galan (The People of Freedom, PdL) for ten years as President of Veneto, Liga Veneta–Lega Nord (that received 28.4% of the vote in the 2009 European Parliament election in Veneto compared to the 29.3% of the PdL), soon reclaimed the post of President for one of itself, with Luca Zaia (Minister of Agriculture in Berlusconi IV Cabinet) or Flavio Tosi (Mayor of Verona and most popular mayor of Italy) as likeliest choices.
Since the early days Zaia was the strongest candidate. According to an opinion poll, 72% of Venetian voters liked him and 67% considered him practised (48 and 42% were the scores of Galan, largely behind also of Tosi), a 49% would back him as President, while only 37% would back Galan. Moreover centre-right voters preferred Zaia to Galan by an 8-point margin (49.3% to 41.2%). Differently from the incumbent president, Zaia was popular among the young and non-autonomous workers, who generally back the left. Galan and the regional section of the PdL (whose leader is Silvio Berlusconi) disagreed and wanted a fourth term for Galan, who was first elected in 1995. At some point a three-way race in Veneto between Galan, Zaia and a candidate of the Democratic Party (PD) seemed possible, but neither Berlusconi nor Umberto Bossi, federal secretary of Lega Nord, liked the idea.
In December 2009 the national committee of The People of Freedom (PdL) determined that it would have supported a leghista in Veneto. Subsequently the National Council (where "national" means "Venetian") of Liga Veneta nominated Zaia for President. Tosi, who as president of Liga Veneta presided the Council, tried until the last minute to be the candidate and some councillors opted for Franco Manzato instead. However, as a strong majority backed Zaia (including the party's secretary Gian Paolo Gobbo), Zaia was voted unanimously by the Council, including Tosi.
The Venetian PdL is afraid that Liga Veneta, headed by Zaia, will dominate regional politics for many years to come, similarly to what the South Tyrolean People's Party has done in South Tyrol. According to another opinion poll, in the forthcoming election, with Zaia candidate, the PdL would be reduced to a mere 23% with the League at 35% and Zaia would beat Galan also in a three-way race.
Galan, who has seldom hinted the idea of forming a Venetist party of his own, was rumored as independent candidate supported by the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats (UDC) and, less likely, by the opposition Democratic Party. However Galan ruled out the idea of running against his party and Zaia, opening the way for a bid by Antonio De Poli, UDC regional leader.
The UDC refused to join forces with the centre-left, leaving the PD to choose between Laura Puppato, Mayor of Montebelluna, who had expressed her interest for the race and Giuseppe Bortolussi, respected leader of the Mestre section of Confartigianato. The PD eventually chose Bortolussi, who beat Puppato by 39 votes to 29 in the regional board of the party.
- Luca Zaia (Liga Veneta–Lega Nord), supported by Liga Veneta–Lega Nord, The People of Freedom and Alliance of the Centre (comprising the Venetian People's Movement)
- Giuseppe Bortolussi (independent, close to the Democratic Party), supported by the Democratic Party, Italy of Values, IDEA – List for Veneto, Left Ecology Freedom–Italian Socialist Party and the Communist Refoundation Party–Party of Italian Communists
- Antonio De Poli (Union of the Centre), supported by the Union of the Centre (comprising also Veneto for the EPP and Alliance for Italy) and North-East Union (comprising North-East Project, Liga Veneta Repubblica and Venetian Agreement)
- Silvano Polo (Party of the Venetians), supported by the Party of the Venetians
- Gianluca Panto (Venetian National Party), supported by the Venetian National Party
- David Borrelli (Five Star Movement), supported by the Five Star Movement
|Candidates||Regional lists||Provincial lists||Total|
|Luca Zaia||1,528,386||60.16||6||Liga Veneta–Lega Nord||788,581||35.16||+20.5||18||20||37|
|The People of Freedom||555,006||24.74||-7.5||13||17|
|Alliance of the Centre||18,114||0.81||new||-||-|
|Giuseppe Bortolussi||738,761||29.08||1||Democratic Party||456,309||20.34||-8.6||14||15||19|
|Italy of Values||119,396||5.32||+4.0||3||3|
|Federation of the Left||35,028||1.56||-3.4||1||1|
|Left Ecology Freedom–Italian Socialist Party||27,578||1.23||new||-||-|
|IDEA – List for Veneto (incl. Greens)||15,907||0.67||-2.3||-||-|
|Liga Veneto Autonomo||4,390||0.20||new||-||-|
|Antonio De Poli||162,235||6.39||-||Union of the Centre||110,417||4.92||-1.5||3||3||4|
|David Borrelli||80,246||3.16||-||Five Star Movement||57,848||2.58||new||-||-||-|
|Paolo Caratossidis||9,151||0.36||-||New Force||6,476||0.29||-0.6||-||-||-|
|Gianluca Panto||9,066||0.36||-||Venetian National Party||6,226||0.28||new||-||-||-|
|Total candidates||2,540,736||100.00||7||Total parties||2,243,042||100.00||=||47||60||60|
|Distribution of Seats in the Regional Council|
|Liga Veneta–Lega Nord||Federico Caner||20||17|
|Venetian Democratic Party||Laura Puppato/
|New Centre-Right||Giancarlo Conta||–||7|
|The People of Freedom–Forza Italia||Dario Bond||17||6|
|Forza Italia||Leonardo Padrin||–||4|
|Popular Future||Stefano Valdegamberi||–||3|
|Italy of Values||Gustavo Franchetto/
|Union of the Centre||Stefano Valdegamberi/
|Federation of the Left||Pietrangelo Pettenò||1||1|
|North-East Union||Mariangelo Foggiato/
|Bortolussi President||Giuseppe Bortolussi||1||1|
|Mixed Group||Diego Bottacin||–||4|
After the election, Luca Zaia formed his first government, composed by six ministers form Liga Veneta, that maintained the strategic Health portfolio (for Luca Coletto) and gained, above all, Budget and Finances (for Roberto Ciambetti), and six from the PdL. Marino Zorzato (PdL) was sworn as Vice President, while Renato Chisso (PdL) was confirmed for a third consecutive term as Minister of Infrastructures and Transports.
|Vice President||Marino Zorzato||PdL/NCD|
|Minister of Budget and Finances||Roberto Ciambetti||LV|
|Minister of Health||Luca Coletto||LV|
|Minister of Economic Development||Maria Luisa Coppola||PdL/FI|
|Minister of Infrastructures and Transports||Renato Chisso (until June 2014)||PdL/FI|
|Minister of Public Works, Energy and Security||Massimo Giorgetti||PdL/FI|
|Minister of Agriculture||Franco Manzato||LV|
|Minister of Education and Labour||Elena Donazzan||PdL/FI|
|Minister of Social Affairs||Remo Sernagiotto (until June 2014)||PdL/FI|
|Minister of Tourism and International Trade||Marino Finozzi||LV|
|Minister of Environment||Maurizio Conte||LV|
|Minister of Venetian Identity||Daniele Stival||LV|
|Minister of Culture and City Planning||Marino Zorzato||PdL/NCD|
Source: Veneto Region – Ninth Legislature – Zaia Government
Note: In November 2013 The People of Freedom (PdL) was transformed into Forza Italia (FI); a group of dissidents formed the New Centre-Right (NCD).
- From November 2013, when The People of Freedom was disbanded and its members joined either "Forza Italia" or "New Centre-Right", to February 2014 the group was named as "The People of Freedom – New Centre Right". In February 2014 the group was finally renamed "The People of Freedom – Forza Italia for Veneto".
- Giuseppe Bortolussi, Diego Bottacin and Andrea Causin had been members of Toward North. Both Bottacin and Causin later joined Civic Choice.
- Two members are affiliated to Veneto First, one to Toward North and Civic Choice, and the remaining one sits as an independent.