Politics of Lombardy

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The Politics of Lombardy, Italy, takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democracy, whereby the President of the Region is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Legislative power is vested in the Regional Council of Lombardy, while executive power is exercised by the Regional Government led by the President, who is directly elected by the people. The current Statute, which regulates the functioning of the regional institutions, has been in force since 2008.

Prior to the rise of Fascism, most of the deputies elected in Lombardy were part of the liberal establishment (see Historical Right, Historical Left and Liberals), which governed Italy for decades. Lombardy was also the birthplace of the Italian Labour Party, forerunner of the Italian Socialist Party, and its eastern and northern provinces were an early stronghold of the Italian People's Party. In the 1924 general election, which led Italy to dictatorship, Lombardy was one of the few regions, along with Veneto and Piedmont, which did not return an absolute majority to the National Fascist Party. After World War II Lombardy became a stronghold of the Christian Democracy, since the 1980s in association with the Italian Socialist Party, which was especially strong in Milan.[1]

Traditionally, Lombardy gives centrist results during elections, reflecting its strong middle class. The Communists and their successors (the Democratic Party of the Left, the Democrats of the Left and the present-day Democratic Party) never won in the region.[1] In the 1980s Lombardy saw the organization of a new regionalist party, Lega Lombarda (later Lega Nord), that would have played a major role in Italian politics since the early 1990s. Lombardy is now a stronghold of the "centre-right coalition" between Lega Nord and The People of Freedom (PdL), founded by Lombard entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi. The coalition, which was joined by Lega Nord in 2000, has governed the region since 1995, under two Presidents, Roberto Formigoni (CDU/FI/PdL) and Roberto Maroni (Lega Nord).

Legislative branch

Palazzo Lombardia, the seat of the Regional Council, from the outside.
Composition of the Regional Council:
     LNMaroni list (27)
     FINCD (19)
     PD (17)
     M5S (9)
     Ambrosoli list (5)
     FdI (2)
     PP (1)

The Regional Council of Lombardy is composed of 80 members. 64 councillors are elected in provincial constituencies by proportional representation using the largest remainder method with a Droop quota and open lists, while 16 councillors (elected in a general ticket) come from a "regional list", including the President-elect. One seat is reserved for the candidate who comes second. If a coalition wins more than 50% of the total seats in the Council with PR, as happened during the 2000 election, only 8 candidates from the regional list will be chosen and the number of those elected in provincial constituencies will be 72. If the winning coalition receives less than 50% of votes, as happened during the 1995 election, special seats are added to the Council to ensure a large majority for the President's coalition.[2][3][4]

The Council is elected for a five-year term, but, if the President suffers a vote of no confidence, resigns or dies, under the simul stabunt, simul cadent clause introduced in 1999 (literally they will stand together or they will fall together), also the Council is dissolved and a snap election is called.[5][6]

2013–2018 composition

Distribution of Seats in the Regional Council
Political Group 2013 Now
The People of FreedomForza Italia 19 10
Democratic Party 17 17
Lega LombardaLega Nord 15 15
Maroni List 11 11
Five Star Movement 9 9
Ambrosoli List 4 4
Brothers of Italy 2 2
Pensioners' Party 1 1
New Centre-Right - 9

Source: Regional Council of Lombardy

Executive branch

Main article: President of Lombardy

The Regional Cabinet (Giunta Regionale) is presided by the President of the Region (Presidente della Regione), who is elected for a five-year term, and is currently composed by 16 members: the President and 15 regional assessors (Assessori, literally "aldermen"), including a Vice President (Vice Presidente), while 4 under-secretaries (Sottosegretari) help the President but have not right of vote when the cabinet meets.[7]

2013–2018 composition

Party Members
Lega Nord President and 7 assessors
The People of FreedomForza Italia 6 assessors
Brothers of Italy 1 assessor
New Centre-Right 1 assessor

List of Presidents

The current President of Lombardy is Roberto Maroni, who is serving for his first term after winning the 2013 regional election.

Name Term of office Political party Legislature
1 Pietro Bassetti 30 July 1970 27 June 1974 DC I (1970)
2 Cesare Golfari 27 June 1974 17 June 1975 DC
17 June 1975 1 October 1979 II (1975)
3 Giuseppe Guzzetti 1 October 1979 10 June 1980 DC
10 June 1980 14 May 1985 III (1980)
14 May 1985 17 July 1987 IV (1985)
4 Bruno Tabacci 17 July 1987 31 January 1989 DC
5 Giovanni Giovenzana 31 January 1989 7 May 1990 DC
7 May 1990 12 December 1992 V (1990)
6 Fiorella Ghilardotti 12 December 1992 4 June 1994 PDS
7 Paolo Arrigoni 4 June 1994 23 April 1995 Lega Nord
8 Roberto Formigoni 23 April 1995 16 April 2000 CDU/FI/PDL VI (1995)
16 April 2000 5 April 2005 VII (2000)
5 April 2005 21 April 2010 VIII (2005)
21 April 2010 27 February 2013 IX (2010)
9 Roberto Maroni 27 February 2013 incumbent Lega Nord X (2013)

Local government


Lombardy is divided in twelve provinces, which are a traditional form of local administration in the region, the first ones being yet established under Habsburg rule by Maria Theresa of Austria in the 18th century. Socialist and Christian-democratic ideas had an early diffusion in quite all the provinces around World War I. After the Fascist parenthesis, left-wing parties found their strongholds in south-eastern agricultural provinces near Emilia, especially in the Province of Mantua, while Christian Democracy obtained high scores in the northern mountainous part of the Region, where nowadays Lega LombardaLega Nord gets a strong backing. The city of Milan is one of major national strongholds of The People of Freedom, although in the latest municipal election the left-wing prevailed.

After the 2014 reform of local authorities the Province of Milan was replaced by the new Metropolitan City of Milan. Since 2014 the president of the province is no more elected directly by citizens, but is chosen by mayors and councilors of the municipalities of the province.

Province Inhabitants President Party Election
Metropolitan City of Milan
(former Province of Milan)
3,208,509 Giuseppe Sala Democratic Party 2016
Brescia 1,264,105 Pierluigi Mottinelli Democratic Party 2014
Bergamo 1,108,298 Matteo Rossi Democratic Party 2014
Varese 890,090 Nicola Gunnar Vincenzi New Centre-Right 2014
Monza and Brianza 866,076 Pierluigi Ponti Democratic Party 2014
Como 599,654 Maria Rita Livio Democratic Party 2014
Pavia 547,926 Daniele Bosone Democratic Party 2011
Mantua 412,868 Alessandro Pastacci Democratic Party 2011
Cremona 360,444 Carlo Vezzini Democratic Party 2014
Lecco 339,254 Flavio Polano Democratic Party 2014
Lodi 229,413 Mauro Soldati Democratic Party 2014
Sondrio 181,712 Luca Della Bitta Lega LombardaLega Nord 2014


Lombardy is also divided in 1,546 comuni (municipalities), which have even more history, having been established in the Middle Ages when they were the main places of government. 24 comuni have more than 40,000 inhabitants, most of which are ruled by the centre-left.

Municipality Inhabitants Mayor Party Election
Milan 1,345,851 Giuseppe Sala Democratic Party 2016
Brescia 196,480 Emilio Del Bono Democratic Party 2013
Monza 122,671 Roberto Scanagatti Democratic Party 2012
Bergamo 119,381 Giorgio Gori Democratic Party 2014
Como 84,495 Mario Lucini Democratic Party 2012
Busto Arsizio 83,106 Emanuele Antonelli Forza Italia 2016
Sesto San Giovanni 81,608 Monica Chittò Democratic Party 2012
Varese 80,799 Davide Galimberti Democratic Party 2016
Cinisello Balsamo 75,078 Siria Trezzi Democratic Party 2013
Pavia 72,576 Massimo Depaoli Democratic Party 2014
Cremona 71,901 Gianluca Galimberti Democratic Party 2014
Vigevano 63,310 Andrea Sala Lega LombardaLega Nord 2015
Legnano 60,262 Alberto Centinaio Democratic Party 2012
Gallarate 53,343 Andrea Cassani Lega LombardaLega Nord 2016
Rho 50,434 Pietro Romano Democratic Party 2016
Mantua 48,671 Mattia Palazzi Democratic Party 2015
Lecco 47,999 Virginio Brivio Democratic Party 2015
Cologno Monzese 47,971 Angelo Rocchi Lega LombardaLega Nord 2015
Paderno Dugnano 46,633 Marco Alparone Forza Italia 2014
Lodi 44,945 Simone Uggetti Democratic Party 2013
Lissone 44,923 Concettina Monguzzi Democratic Party 2012
Seregno 44,651 Edoardo Mazza Forza Italia 2015
Rozzano 42,475 Barbara Agogliati Democratic Party 2014
Desio 41,865 Roberto Corti Democratic Party 2016

Parties and elections

Latest regional election

In the latest regional election, which took place on 24–25 February 2013, Roberto Maroni of Lega LombardaLega Nord was elected President of Lombardy with the support of The People of Freedom. The election was the first snap election in Lombard political history and the first one paired with a senatorial election.

Candidates Regional candidates Provincial lists Total
votes % seats Parties votes % swing seats party group
Roberto Maroni 2,456,921 42.82 1 The People of Freedom 904,742 16.73 Decrease15.1 19 19 49
Lega LombardaLega Nord 700,907 12.96 Decrease13.2 15 16
Maroni President 552,863 10.23 new 11 11
Brothers of Italy 83,810 1.55 new 2 2
Pensioners' Party 50,843 0.94 Decrease0.7 1 1
Labour and Freedom List 27,374 0.51 new 0 0
Ecological Alliance 8,270 0.15 new 0 0
Umberto Ambrosoli 2,194,169 38.24 1 Democratic Party 1,369,440 25.33 Increase2.4 17 17 22
Ambrosoli List – Civic Pact 380,241 7.03 new 4 5
Left Ecology Freedom 97,627 1.81 Increase0.4 0 0
Lombard Popular Centre 63,885 1.18 new 0 0
Ethical to Left 52,152 0.96 new 0 0
Italy of Values 35,141 0.65 Decrease5.6 0 0
Italian Socialist Party 16,624 0.31 Steady0.0 0 0
Silvana Carcano 782,007 13.63 - Five Star Movement 775,211 14.34 Increase12.0 9 9 9
Gabriele Albertini 236,597 4.12 - Civic Lombardy 133,435 2.47 new 0 0 -
Union of the Centre 85,721 1.59 Decrease2.2 0 0
Carlo Pinardi 68,133 1.19 - Act to Stop the Decline 68,469 1.27 new 0 0 -
Total candidates 5,737,827 100.00 2 Total parties 5,406,755 100.00 = 78 80 80

Source: Region Lombardy


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