Sardinia: Todde's lead drops but the “reversal” remains a mirage. The center-right still hopes


By John

The center-right in Sardinia still hopes for it, given the narrow advantage that allowed Alessandra Todde of the center-left's Campo Largo to beat her opponent Paolo Truzzu on February 25th and become the first female president of the Region in the 75-year history of autonomy. When 19 sections still remained to be counted, the minutes of which ended up being examined by the electoral district offices in the courts of competence, the M5S exponent was ahead by 2,615 votes.

But now the gap has been reduced to 1,626, according to unofficial data from centre-left sources based on the results of 17 of the 19 missing sections. Only the two from Silius (South Sardinia) remain pending, where however there were only 450 voters and even in the hypothesis that everyone voted for Truzzu their votes would not be enough to bring about the turnaround hoped for by some exponents on the centre-right.

The doubts of the losers are based on alleged anomalies in the assignment of votes and also on an alleged high number of invalid ballots. The definitive data is not reported on the Region's “Sardinia elections” website, but on the websites of some large municipalities that have published the electoral results in their sections: for example, in Cagliari, where Todde won clearly, there were a thousand invalid ballots (out of 73,113 voters), plus 125 invalid votes; in Sassari less than 200 out of 54,498 in the 136 sections scrutinized out of 400. According to centre-right sources, to continue to hope for a turnaround, the invalid ballots should be at least 14 thousand (but statistically they could be less than 12 thousand) and the distance between the two candidates less than 900 votes.

We will have to wait for the announcement of those elected to the Court of Appeal in Cagliari, in no less than two weeks, to have the definitive results and understand if there is room for the center-right to appeal. And on this point Truzzu, in his first press conference after the vote, was clear: «Once we have the data from the court we will compare them with those taken by our list representatives in the sections and we will evaluate the situation», he declared on the 27th last February. «If we believe there is an element to be able to appeal, we will do so. But it's not something on the agenda, because now the conditions aren't there and we don't have the report from the Court of Appeal. Appeals are made when the result is clear.”

“I can also believe that Cagliari is capable of winning against Juve, but the ranking says something else”, cuts short the regional secretary of the Democratic Party, Piero Comandini, re-elected to the Regional Council for the third time, together with his dem colleagues Giuseppe Meloni, Valter Piscedda and Roberto Deriu, all in their third consecutive mandate. «I remind you that the electoral statute law establishes that the presidential candidate who gets even just one more vote wins». His trust is based on updated data held by the centre-left. Even if the official announcement from the Court of Appeal is awaited, the winning parties are already looking at the composition of the new Council and the priorities of the first 100 days of the future Todde government, trusting in the fact that even possible appeals would not stop the activity of the newly elected .

A reversal, moreover, appears to be an “unlikely scenario” also for Lorenzo Pregliasco, co-founder and director of YouTrend. During the long night of the counting, between February 26th and 27th, the political analyst went unbalanced by giving Todde's victory as a certainty, despite the head-to-head that could be deduced from the partial data published on the Sardinia Region website. “There were too few sections missing for a change in result to be realistic,” Pregliasco explains to AGI. «The evaluation of the missing sections, which ones they were and where they were located, made us understand that an overtaking would not have been plausible. We based ourselves not only on the data present at that time on the Region's website, but also on those published by the larger municipalities.”
“I expect a close result”, adds Pregliasco, therefore, with a minimal gap between Todde and Truzzu, in the wake of what happened in other regional elections in the past, such as Lazio in 1995 (Piero Badaloni for the centre-left won with 48, 14% over Alberto Michelini of the centre-right, with 47.97%); Abruzzo in 2000 (Giovanni Pace for the centre-right beat Antonio Falconio of the Ulivo with 49.26%, who reached 48.8%); and Friuli Venezia Giulia in 2013, with Debora Serracchiani (centre-left) who became president with 39.39%, ahead of Renzo Tondo (centre-right), who obtained 39%.