Issue 4, January 2024
Elections in Europe: 2023
The Regional Council of Molise, Italy’s second least populous and smallest region, was renewed on June 25 and 26, 2023.
Two coalitions were vying for the presidency of the region: the center-right coalition led by Francesco Roberti (FI, EPP) and the center-left coalition, including the Five-Star Movement (M5S, NI), headed by Roberto Gravina (M5S). Roberti, who had previously presided over the province of Campobasso, took over as a lead candidate from outgoing president Donato Toma (FI), who, along with his assessors, was under investigation for abuse of office and decided not to stand for re-election.
Turnout fell sharply to 48.0% (-4.2 pp). The center-right coalition won by a wide margin, with 62.2% of the vote against 36.3% for the center-left. Fratelli d’Italia (FdI, ECR) was the region’s largest party with 18.9% (+14.4 pp), followed by the Democratic Party (PD, S&D) with 12.0% (+3.0 pp), Forza Italia (FI, EPP) with 12.0% (+2.6 pp), Aldo Patriciello’s Il Molise che vogliamo list (FI) with 9.9% (new), the centrists of Il Molise in buone mani with 7.5% (+3.9 pp) and the Five Star Movement with 7.1% (-24.5 pp). The collapse of the M5S’s vote share reflects a national trend; in the Southern region of Molise, however, the collapse of the M5S vote is made particularly spectacular by their high scores in the previous election in 2018, which the party won by a large margin. As for the center-right, the situation of the center-left is characterized by a significant fragmentation favored by the influence of local opinion leaders; in total, 6 center-right and 3 center-left lists win seats.
The bonus granted to the leading coalition – the center-right in both 2023 and 2018 – reduces the influence of these changes on the composition of parliament: the center-right wins 14 seats (+2), against 6 (-2) for the center-left. The new regional executive around Francesco Roberti includes 5 assessors, none of whom was part of the previous executive. The FdI enters the government with two representatives. All five members of the new regional executive are men.
François Hublet, Regional election in Molise, 25-26 June 2023, Nov 2023,
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