Italy's ruling party loses out in local elections

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Overall among the 27 cities at stake in Sunday's partial election, the centre-left made four gains. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP
10:34 CEST+02:00
Italy's ruling Democratic Party (PD) lost a mayoral election in the bastion city of Livorno to the anti-establishment Five-Star Movement (M5S), results showed on Monday.

The Tuscan port, dubbed the "red citadel" by leading daily Il Corriere della Sera, had been a stronghold of the left for 68 years.

Filippo Nogarin, a 43-year-old engineer, created a sensation by winning 53 percent of the vote in Sunday's partial election run-off against the PD's Marco Ruggeri, 39, an employee of state-controlled oil giant Eni who had been considered the favourite.

Ruggeri had garnered 20 points more than Nogarin in the first round, but a citizens' list that had won 16 percent unexpectedly threw its weight behind Nogarin for the run-off.

The centre-left also ceded another bastion, the historic central city of Perugia, to the right.

But overall among the 27 cities at stake in Sunday's partial election, the centre-left made four gains.

The victory in Livorno for the party of ex-comedian Beppe Grillo - which also won in the port of Civitavecchia near Rome - strengthens M5S's position as Italy's second party after its performance in last month's European Union elections.

Italians backed M5S with 21.2 percent, behind the PD's 40.8 percent, in that vote.

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The grassroots movement took control of the central city of Parma in the last municipal elections, in 2012.

READ MORE: Italy's Renzi demands change from EU head

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