Centrist Azione (Action) party leader Carlo Calenda on Sunday pulled out of an election pact with the centre-left Democratic Party (PD). This is a boost to the centre-right alliance.
Azione leader Calenda pulled out of an centre-left pact with the Democratic Party (PD) on Sunday. This boosts the opposing right/centre right alliance’s already high chances of coming to power in Italy on September 25.
Calenda said he withdrew after the PD teamed up with two leftwing parties, Italian Left (SI) and Green Europe (EV), and Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio’s new Civic Commitment (IC) party.
“I found myself side by side with parties who voted 54 no-confidence votes in (outgoing premier Mario) Draghi,” said Calenda. Azione’s leader is campaigning to continue the agenda of the former European central banker.
PD leader and former premier Enrico Letta accused Calenda of “consigning the country to the right”.
Who will Calenda partner with now?
There is speculation Calenda may now team up with another centrist leader, former PD leader and ex-premier Matteo Renzi. Renzi’s Italia Viva (IV) party was set to run alone having been shunned by the centre left.
Calenda’s erstwhile allies More Europe are expected to keep to the pact they signed with the PD a week ago. More Europe’s Emma Bonino, former foreign minister and European commissioner, said “it doesn’t make sense to change your mind every three days”.
Where do the votes lie now?
More Europe are currently polling at around 2%, as is Azione. Meanwhile the SI-EV alliance is at around 3.5% and IC 3%.
The right-wing Brothers of Italy (FdI) is leading with over 23% with the PD second on just under 23%. FdI’s rightwing ally the League has about 14% and the third ally, Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right Forza Italia (FI) party, about 8%.
Together, the rightwing coalition has over 45%, more than enough to see it claiming power.
If the right-wing does seize power, Fdl’s leader, Giorgia Meloni would become Italy’s first female prime minister. Enrico Letta was Prime Minister for 300 days in 2013-14. Other former PMs in the running are Matteo Renzi and Giuseppe Conte of the Five-Star Movement (M5S).