Rightward shift in Europe: conservatives win regional elections in Italy and Spain

The latest elections have strengthened Giorgia Meloni's position in Italy. The Spanish socialist government will face conservatives in the general elections.

Elections in two European countries this week have seen the right wing soar. Spain and Italy both held elections in which the conservative parties were the big winners. In the case of Italy, the candidacies of Giorgia Meloni's coalition government swept most of the regional and provincial capitals. Spain also held municipal elections throughout the country and in several autonomous regions. The result in favor of the right wing provoked the dissolution of the legislative power and will lead to early general elections in Spain.

Some 208 Italian localities voted this Monday in the second round of municipal elections. Following the election, cities historically governed by the left were taken over by conservatives, as is the case of Ancona. There, the Italian Democratic Party, a social democratic party, had been governing for more than 30 years.

The governments of other important regional and provincial capitals such as Massa, Pisa, Siena, or Brindisi also ended up in the hands of Italian conservatives. Less than a year after her arrival at the head of the government, Meloni's conservative coalition has managed to gain a foothold thanks to these results.

Municipal and regional governments in Spain

In Spain, conservatives achieved sufficient results to corner the central government of the Socialist Party, who is in coalition with the communists. In six autonomous regions, conservatives managed to overtake the progressives and will thus be able to take power in the regional governments. In two of them, the center-right European People's Party won absolute majorities.

In the municipal elections, the conservative Vox party also achieved good results, tripling its representation in local governments. The party led by Santiago Abascal went from 530 representatives nationwide to 1,687 after Sunday's election.

Reaction of the Latin American left

The leftist Gustavo Petro was quick to react to the conservative victory in Spain. The Colombian president took to Twitter to compare the rise of Spanish conservatives at the polls with the 1933 victory of Nazism in Germany.

At the beginning of May, the Colombian president had already encountered with the Spanish conservative party during his state visit to Madrid. Then, representatives from Vox left the Spanish Congress when the former socialist guerrilla made his entrance in the chamber to give a speech.