Rome mayor Walter Veltroni was triumphant in the primaries on Sunday 14 October for the leader of the nascent Democratic Party (PD), which will unite the two largest centre-left parties, the Margherita and Democratici di Sinistra, under a single banner.

Veltroni won over 75 per cent of the ballot, taking a huge lead over closest runner-up Rosy Bindi, current minister for the family, who gained just 13 per cent of votes. Other challengers for the post Enrico Letta, Mario Adolfini and B. Gawronski barely made a mark.

Around 3.3 million people turned out to vote, despite being required to donate at least