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Italy's right-wing coalition triumphs in regional elections

Elections in Lazio and Lombardia saw record low turnout.

Italian premier Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing coalition has won decisive victories in regional elections held in the regions around Rome and Milan over the past two days.

The coalition-backed candidate Francesco Rocca in the central Lazio region around the capital won comfortably, obtaining 53.8 per cent of the vote.

This will see Rocca, a former head of the Italian Red Cross, succeed Nicola Zingaretti of the centre-left Partito Democratico (PD) as the president of the Lazio region.

Rocca saw off a challenge from the outgoing Lazio health councillor Alessio D'Amato (PD) who secured 33.5 per cent of the vote; and Donatella Bianchi for the Movimento 5 Stelle, on 10.7 per cent.

Attilio Fontana of the right-wing Lega party was returned as governor of the northern Lombardia region around Milan, winning 54.6 per cent of the vote.

Fontana saw off the PD candidate Pierfrancesco Majorino who obtained 33.9 per cent of the vote; and Letizia Moratti, backed by the Terzo Polo centrist alliance between Carlo Calenda's Azione and Matteo Renzi's Italia Viva, on 9.8 per cent.

The regional elections were held on Sunday and Monday in what was the government's first electoral test since it came to power five months ago.

Meloni's Fratelli d'Italia secured 33 per cent of the vote in Lazio and 25 per cent in Lombardia, with electoral success also for Matteo Salvini's Lega and Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia, all at the expense of the centre-left opposition.

Meloni welcomed the election outcome, writing on Twitter that it "consolidates the compactness of the centre-right and strengthens the work of the government.”

The two-day regional elections saw a record-low turnout of voters at the polls: 41.6 per cent in Lombardia and 37.2 per cent in Lazio.

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