Lega Nord Piemont
|National affiliation||Lega Nord|
|Regional Council of Piedmont||
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Lega Nord Piemont (English: Piedmont Northern League, LNP) is a regionalist political party in Italy active in Piedmont, Italy. It is the "national" (hence, regional) section of Lega Nord in the region.
The party was founded in April 1987 by spliters from Piedmontese Union (Union Piemontèisa, UP) led by Gipo Farassino and Mario Borghezio. This group, which took the name of Piedmontese Autonomist Movement (Moviment Autonomista Piemontèis, MAP) and later Autonomist Piedmont (Piemont Autonomista, PA), wanted to make an alliance with Lega Lombarda of Umberto Bossi, in contrast with UP leader Roberto Gremmo.
PA participated in the 1989 European Parliament election as part of the coalition Lega Lombarda – Alleanza Nord. In 1989–1990 it took part to the process of integration of the Northern regionalist parties, ahead of regional elections, and, finally, in February 1991, it was merged into Lega Nord, taking the current name.
In the 1996 general election the party obtained its highest and still unparallaled result: 18.2%.
Splits and recovery
In 1999 the party suffered a damaging split when Comino left the party over disagreements with Umberto Bossi, federal secretary of Lega Nord, and started his own party, which was integrated into the Autonomists for Europe (ApE) in 2000.
Troubled by splits and a huge loss of popular support (the party was reduced from 18.2% to 7.8% in just three years), LNP entered into the centre-right House of Freedoms coalition. From 2000 to 2005 the party took part to the regional government led by Enzo Ghigo (Forza Italia), which included LNP long-time leader Gipo Farassino as regional minister of Culture, while Roberto Cota was appointed President of the Regional Council.
In 2001 Cota was elected national secretary of LNP with the mandate of re-building the party.
In the 2009 European Parliament election LNP increased again its share reaching 15.7%, its best electoral result since 1996.
Cota President of Piedmont
The day after his bid was announced, Cota explained that it was time to rewrite the history of Italian unification, that was led by the Kingdom of Sardinia under the House of Savoy. Cota underlined that Piedmont was to be once again an independent state and claimed that even Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, Italy's first Prime Minister, did not intend to unify the whole Italian Peninsula and, later, favoured a federal reform of the new Kingdom of Italy. For these reasons Cota, a republican with no nostalgia for the House of Savoy, said that his message would do well in Piedmont and that he would overcome the weakness of LNP (which usually gets far less votes than Liga Veneta in Veneto and Lega Lombarda in Lombardy). In Cota's view, most of his support would come from industrial workers, including those of Southern Italian descent, and Catholics embarrassed by the incumbent President Mercedes Bresso's secularism.
In March Cota was narrowly elected President (he took 47.3% of the vote against Bresso's 46.9%) and LNP tripled the number of its seats in the Regional Council from four to twelve. Instrumental for Cota's victory were the strong showing of Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement, which gained 3.7% of the vote mainly from centre-left voters, and the Catholic vote that tilted to Cota, disappointing the Union of the Centre, allied with Bresso in the election.
Cota was forced to resign in early 2014, due to irregularities committed in 2010 by one of its supporting lists in filing the slates for the regional election, and chose not to stand again. In the 2010 regional election Democrat Sergio Chiamparino was elected President of Piedmont and LNP was reduced to a mere 7.3% of the vote.
From Cota to Molinari
In February 2016, during a hard-fought national congress, Riccardo Molinari replaced Cota as national secretary. Molinari, who was supported by the new Lega Nord federal secretary Matteo Salvini, obtained 446 votes (55.1%) from delegates, while his opponent Gianna Gancia, the incumbent national president chiefly supported by Gianluca Buonanno MEP and her husband and party heavyweight Roberto Calderoli, 364 votes (44.9%). Subsequently, Stefano Allasia was elected president.
The party has its strongholds in the outer provinces, in rural and in mountain areas of Piedmont. In the 2010 regional election it won 25.3% in Cuneo, 24.4% in Vercelli, 21.6% in Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, 21.1% in Novara, 20.6% in Asti and 20.2% in Biella.
The electoral results of Lega Nord Piemont in the Region are shown in the table below.
|1990 regional||1992 general||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||2014 regional||2014 European|
- National Secretary: Gipo Farassino (1987–1997), Domenico Comino (1997–1999), Bernardino Bosio (1999–2001), Roberto Cota (2001–2016), Riccardo Molinari (2016–present)
- National President: Angelo Colli (1991–1992), Domenico Comino (1994–1997), Bernardino Bosio (1997–1999), Silvano Straneo (2000–2001), Oreste Rossi (2001–2004), Mario Borghezio (2004–2011), Gianna Gancia (2012–2016), Stefano Allasia (2016–present)
- David Parenzo; Davide Romano, Romanzo Padano. Da Bossi a Bossi. Storia della Lega, Sperling & Kupfer, Milan 2009, p. 48
- Il Pdl a Pd e Udc: basta tensioni Regionali, il Veneto alla Lega. Archiviostorico.corriere.it. Retrieved on 2013-08-24.
- Cota, «lotta» a Cavour e ai Savoia «I meridionali di qui voteranno me». Archiviostorico.corriere.it. Retrieved on 2013-08-24.