The latest electoral contest in Sicily has been widely considered in Italy as a resounding defeat for the Democratic Party, a success for the centre-right forces and, after all, a good result for the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which, anyway, did not succeed in winning its first regional election. If we look at some numbers and details, however, we might get a more nuanced picture
Sicily has been for almost two decades a centre-right stronghold (at the 2001 general election, 61 constituencies out of 61 were won by the coalition supporting Silvio Berlusconi). Local government is granted a number of special powers. Moreover, a multitude of local lists and regional parties make the political landscape quite fluid and peculiar on the island. In 2012, the surge of Grillo’s party and the internal division of the centre-right (split into two different coalitions, while the Union of the Centre, a Christian-democrat party normally loyal to the centre-right and electorally strong in Sicily, changed side) led to the victory of Rosario Crocetta, the candidate of the Democratic Party-led coalition. which, however, was unable to win a majority of seats at the Sicilian Regional Assembly.