The vote in Italy has given the country a framework in which the Democratic Party seems to have become a shapeless political body, scooping up votes from even former Berlusconi supporters. For weeks the defeat of Beppe Grillo’s party was predicted and completely false opinion polls have stoked fears, resulting in a polarized clash on domestic issues which lacks debates on austerity and alternative policies.
Grillo’s challenge of populism and discontent did not win through in the end, and it is clear that not having a clear position (either right or left), has done more to scare than attract voters. Thus the majority of the vote favored the governing party, giving Renzi’s the power to decide over every ally and every standpoint regarding internal criticism.
It’s a miracle that l’Altra Europa con Tsipras achieved such a high percentage of the vote. Totally ignored by the mass media and with a completely unknown figurehead, the party has still been able to overcome the barrier of 4% needed to elect MEPS.
This success was built on a political platform of criticism against the regime of grand coalitions both in Europe and in Italy involving Letta and Renzi (both prime ministers of the Democratic Party). We sought to offer an alternative. This was the proposal to merge the left-wing movements of the Democratic Party with the Left in Europe. This sent the message that a credible alternative at European level was the only option that strengthened the left-wing opposition within a Europe that only considers the interests of banks and finance, even if the parties themselves were completely and deliberately ignored by the media.
Another positive aspect of this list is that it encompasses people which represent struggling members of society, intellectuals and workers. In short, this party-list displays a rootedness that has allowed us to re-establish a relationship with a social reality that could only have been obtained through a horizontal and grass-roots structure.
An analysis of the vote tells us that the vote for parties on the Left was patchy; we won three seats in total: one in the north-west, one in the center and one in the south. Our voters were concentrated in large cities, with our electorate largely consisting of young people and more educated groups. The problem of recognition and penetration into popular sectors that remain cut off from our communication circuits thus remains an issue.
The total cost of our general election campaign stood at EUR 220,000, which would be the expenditure for a single candidate in some of our country’s other political parties. More than half of this money has been collected through forms of self-financing, fund-raising dinners, subscriptions and individual contributions.
It's been a long campaign that started with the collection of the required number of signatures needed to submit the party to the electoral list. In Italy we needed at least 150,000 signatures, 3000 as a minimum for each region, even smaller states such as Valle d' Aosta, which has just over 128,000 inhabitants. However, this campaign not only saw us collect more than 220,000 signatures, it also helped us on the way to achieving success; it was during this time that most of the collective work was done to achieve the result, which led to a better outcome. The Aosta recorded 3,569 votes, equal to 7.68% of the vote. This shows that the hard work has paid off in terms of consent.
Another important element was to convert preferences shown by the electorate, which we also aimed to do during the last election; however, this resulted in a failure to produce a political profile or a single project. This time the list’s officials focused less on the party line of their parties of origin thus allowing aggregation processes and blending, which were indispensable.
This achievement marks a successful milestone, but this is just the beginning. We are still a long way from rebuilding an Italian Left that is worthy of our history, but at least we have taken the first step in making this goal a reality.
Roberto Morea, transform!italia
26 May, 03:51
First Statement by Alfonso Gianni (member of coordinators' committee, L'Altra Europa con Tsipras):
“European elections in Italy highlight a wide success of the centre-left ruling party (“Partito Democratico”). Such result displays a sort of “regime” victory from a party holding a power to absorb votes from all political directions, as it happened for decades with the old Christian Democrates. It is too early to make a precise analysis on the source of the new PD votes, but it looks like they largely stemmed from the “moderate” parties.
In this context, in such a difficult electoral campaign for us, our result, around 4%, is an extremely relevant “flag” that we are hammering in Italy, being achieved after years of a heavy political losses and mediatic marginalization.”
First exit polls:
Socialist Party: at 33,5 %
Movement 5 stars: 26,5 %
Forza Italia (Berlusconi‘s party): 18 %
Northen League: 6 %
Lista Tsipras: 4,2 %
NCD (new right wing party, part of the government): 4 %
IN POWER: Democratic Party (centre-left)
The radical Left in the EP: 0 seats of 72
The radical Left has almost vanished from the Italian political scene. In the general elections of 2013, the coalition “Civil revolution” around the Communist Refoundation Party reached 2.25% of the vote, the SEL “Left Ecology Freedom” 3.7%. In the run-up to the European elections, the forces of the Left have decided to back the leader of the Greek Syriza and to form an alliance under the name “L'Altra Europa con Tsipras” – “A different Europa with Tsipras”.