Elections in Verona, surprise in the exit polls: Damiano Tommasi ahead, head to head to the right between Sboarina and Tosi

The Verona exit polls reward Damiano Tommasi, supported by the center-left forces gathered en bloc for the former Hellas and Roma player. With a gap between 37 and 41% he wins the challenge of the electoral polls upon leaving the polling stations, leaving the outgoing mayor Federico Sboarina and the former mayor Flavio Tosi equal between 27 and 31%.

“It is an exit poll, we will see the reliable data” comments Tommasi. «The desire to turn the page makes itself felt. For us it is a historic result, a prospect of change. People want a different future for Verona. Together we are trying to turn the page: it will not be easy but it is the fact that we take home tonight ».

The center-right who quarrels is then punished by the voters of a city traditionally oriented towards a Catholic and conservative vote. Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni had put aside tensions and quarrels to support the incumbent mayor, while Forza Italia had chosen to side with Tosi, who he administered in Verona for ten years, from 2007 to 2017.

Therefore Tommasi, a total outsider, had to contend with two people whom the city perceives as administrators, rather than politicians. But it is probably on the approach to the electoral campaign in recent months that the former footballer has played for the consent of the Veronese. Never quarrelsome, never attacking, almost hidden, at times even imperceptible. Against two politicians with that administrative experience, different arguments were needed. And Tommasi, led by Giovanni Diamantifounder and head of the Quorum / Youtrend agency, for weeks he talked only about values, about young people, about the future.

The outcome of the Verona exit polls is a substantial rejection even for the two main leaders of the Italian center-right. Matteo Salvini And Giorgia Meloni they put their face to it, in this electoral challenge. “If we win in the first round, I’ll bathe in the fountain in Piazza Bra,” said the secretary of via Bellerio last week, embracing Sboarina in the shadow of the Arena.

“United for him, in the face of the left,” Giorgia had shouted instead, at the closing party of the electoral campaign. The center-right split on Verona represents the culmination of a long-brooded war. After months of negotiations, after an attempt at bargaining made by Maurizio Gasparri which had also involved the council of Luca Zaia, claiming Forza Italia’s right to have some role in the regional administration, all reservations were dissolved in May: Forza Italia goes with Tosi.

The war between the current mayor of Verona and Silvio Berlusconi’s party broke out in November 2020, when the mayor appointed the force fighter Stefano Bianchini as councilor, without however interfacing with the top management. It is the trigger of a war that does not yet know peace. It should be remembered that after that break, Forza Italia made an agreement with Flavio Tosi’s “Fare”, a political experience that led to the election in the Region of Alberto Bozza, formerly a Tosian city councilor.

For ten years, before the expulsion, Tosi led the city wearing the Lega shirt. In this context, the match played between the Lega and the Brothers of Italy to register Federico Sboarina should also be remembered. After a long flirtation with Matteo Salvini, the lawyer and mayor of Verona in the last five years has surprisingly decided to join Fdi, creating not a few discontent. “I just went back to what has always been my home,” he said, the day after the choice. But between fading alliances and choices of pitch capable of generating resentment, the center-right finds itself in the balance in a city that, on paper, appeared easy to conquer.

Verona, traditionally on the right, risks seeing the conservative vote fragmented. Damiano Tommasi seems to benefit from this, who, unlike the other candidates, has decided to meet the secretaries of the parties that are part of his coalition only in private. He did it with Enrico Letta and also with Giuseppe Conte, claiming the civic nature of his candidacy. The run-off in two weeks: “Having always scored a few goals – comments the former football player – I don’t know how we rejoice but I know that we will give it our all”.

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