Apulian regional election, 2010

Apulian regional election, 2010
March 28-29, 2010

All 76 seats to the Regional Council of Apulia
  Majority party Minority party
Leader Nichi Vendola Rocco Palese
Party Left Ecology Freedom People of Freedom
Alliance Centre-left coalition Centre-right coalition
Last election 42 seats, 49.8% 28 seats, 49.2%
Seats won 46 26
Seat change Increase4 Decrease2
Popular vote 1,036,683 899,590
Percentage 48.7% 42.3%
Swing Decrease0.9% Decrease6.9%

President of Apulia before election

Nichi Vendola
Left Ecology Freedom

President of Apulia

Nichi Vendola
Left Ecology Freedom

The Apulian regional election of 2010 took place in Apulia, Italy, on 28–29 March 2010.

The outgoing President Nichi Vendola of Left Ecology Freedom (SEL) was elected for a second-consecutive term, after having won the a primary election in which he beat a Democrat and having benefited from the split of the centre-right, whose two candidates jointly won 51.0% of the vote.

Vendola's party, SEL, had a strong showing in the Region by coming third with 9.7% of the vote, after The People of Freedom (31.1%) and the Democratic Party (20.8%).


The incumbent left-wing president Nichi Vendola, who in 2005 surprisingly defeated a centrist in the centre-left primary election and then the outgoing President Raffaele Fitto, is under attack by his own coalition. Vendola, a gay communist President in a fairly conservative region, will find hard to get re-election in a time when the centre-right led by Silvio Berlusconi is ahead of the centre-left both in Apulia and the whole country. Moreover Vendola, after having left the Communist Refoundation Party in early 2009, instead of joining the Democratic Party (PD), the largest party of the centre-left, started a small outfit named Left and Freedom and launched his bid.[1][2]

The Democrats acknowledge that they need a larger coalition in order to beat the centre-right and they are thus trying to convince Vendola to give up his bid and to endorse a more centrist candidate that could obtain the support of the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats (UDC) and Adriana Poli Bortone's I the South movement. Michele Emiliano, Mayor of Bari and PD regional leader, has been constantly mentioned as a possible candidate who may receive the support also of the UDC.[2][3][4] For her part Poli Bortone may be interested in the race but her right-wing upbringing (she was a member of the Italian Social Movement and of National Alliance) would undoubtedly stir the left.[5]

In a succession of events between late December 2009 and January 2010, Emiliano turned against Vendola[6] (whom he supported until then), asked his party's regional assembly to unanimously endorse him,[7] the assembly of the party was suspended because of clashes between Emiliano and Vendola supporters,[8] then Emiliano accepted to contest a primary election with Vendola[9] and finally withdrew from the race,[10] leaving the PD without a strong candidate.

Finally Vendola was chosen as candidate of the centre-left in a primary election on 25 January 2010.[11] The People of Freedom (PdL) of Berlusconi and Fitto subsequently chose Rocco Palese, leader of Forza Italia–PdL group in the Regional Council and former Vice President of Fitto,[12] while the UDC launched Poli Bortone.[13]

Centre-left primary election

After that Emiliano renounced his bid, the PD proposed Francesco Boccia as its candidate[14] and the UDC endorsed him.[15] However, as Vendola did not intend to withdraw from the race, the PD accepted to run a coalition primary election between Vendola and Boccia.[16] This was a re-edition of the 2005 primary election, in which Boccia was narrowly defeated by Vendola.[17]

On 25 January 2010 an unprecedented number of Apulian citizens turned out to vote in the primary and Vendola trounced Boccia in the primary, by winning over 62% of the votes cast.

Candidates votes votes (%)
Nichi Vendola (SEL) 137,521 67.2
Francesco Boccia (PD) 66,991 32.8
Total 204,512 100.0

Source: Nichi Vendola campaign website

General election results

Candidates & parties votes votes (%) seats
Nichi Vendola 1,036,638 48.69 46
Democratic Party 410,395 20.75 23
Left Ecology Freedom (inc. PSI)[18] 192,604 9.74 11
Italy of Values 127,865 6.47 6
Apulia for Vendola 109,382 5.53 6
Federation of the LeftGreens 64,441 3.26 -
Bonino-Pannella List 6,005 0.30 -
Rocco Palese 899,590 42.25 26
The People of Freedom 615,064 31.10 20
Apulia First of All 139,379 7.05 4
The Apulians for Rocco Palese 95,070 4.81 2
Alliance of the Centre 11,047 0.56 0
UDEUR 9,125 0.46 0
Pensioners' Party 4,777 0.24 0
Adriana Poli Bortone 185,370 8.71 4
Union of the Centre 128,542 6.50 4
I the South 57,901 2.93 -
Michele Rizzi 7,376 0.35 -
Communist Alternative Party 5,834 0.30 -
Total 2,128,974 100.00 76

Sources: Apulia Region and Corriere della Sera


  1. http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2009/novembre/27/Vendola_non_cede_corro_alle_co_9_091127025.shtml
  2. 1 2 http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2009/dicembre/09/Campania_scelte_dopo_voto_Cosentino_co_9_091209039.shtml
  3. http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2009/novembre/26/Puglia_campo_Emiliano_svolta_tra_co_8_091126028.shtml
  4. http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2009/novembre/29/sia_Nichi_indicare_suo_erede_co_9_091129088.shtml
  5. http://www.aprileonline.info/notizia.php?id=13837
  6. http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2009/dicembre/21/Emiliano_accusa_Vendola_Lavora_contro_co_9_091221006.shtml
  7. http://corrieredelmezzogiorno.corriere.it/bari/notizie/politica/2009/26-dicembre-2009/emiliano-disponibile-candidarmisenza-porre-alcuna-condizione-1602210160308.shtml
  8. http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2009/dicembre/29/Caos_Puglia_salta_assemblea_del_co_8_091229024.shtml
  9. http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2009/dicembre/30/Puglia_alle_primarie_Emiliano_accetta_co_8_091230049.shtml
  10. http://www.repubblica.it/2009/12/sezioni/politica/regionali-2010-2/emiliano-ritiro/emiliano-ritiro.html
  11. http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2010/gennaio/25/Successo_Vendola_governatore_batte_Democratici_co_8_100125087.shtml
  12. http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2010/gennaio/25/Pdl_sceglie_sfidante_per_Regione_co_8_100125118.shtml
  13. http://corrieredelmezzogiorno.corriere.it/bari/notizie/politica/2010/26-gennaio-2010/poli-bortone-io-corro-vincere--1602349288712.shtml
  14. http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2010/gennaio/05/Puglia_prova_con_Boccia_dell_co_8_100105020.shtml
  15. http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2010/gennaio/06/Puglia_Casini_Boccia_Sosteniamo_svolta_co_8_100106007.shtml
  16. http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2010/gennaio/16/Puglia_tornano_primarie_tra_Vendola_co_9_100116017.shtml
  17. http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2009/dicembre/31/Attenti_alle_primarie_nel_2005_co_9_091231033.shtml
  18. Four regional councillors out of the eleven elected by Left Ecology Freedom, including Onofrio Introna, President of the Regional Council, belong to the Italian Socialist Party. See http://www.partitosocialista.it/site/il-partito_consiglieri-regionali/491/consiglieri-regionali.aspx.
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