Politics of Lombardy

The Politics of Lombardy, Italy, takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democracy, whereby the President of the Region is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Legislative power is vested in the Regional Council of Lombardy, while executive power is exercised by the Regional Government led by the President, who is directly elected by the people. The current Statute, which regulates the functioning of the regional institutions, has been in force since 2008.

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Prior to the rise of Fascism, most of the deputies elected in Lombardy were part of the liberal establishment (see Historical Right, Historical Left and Liberals), which governed Italy for decades. Lombardy was also the birthplace of the Italian Labour Party, forerunner of the Italian Socialist Party, and its eastern and northern provinces were an early stronghold of the Italian People's Party. In the 1924 general election, which led Italy to dictatorship, Lombardy was one of the few regions, along with Veneto and Piedmont, which did not return an absolute majority to the National Fascist Party. After World War II Lombardy became a stronghold of the Christian Democracy, since the 1980s in association with the Italian Socialist Party, which was especially strong in Milan.[1]

Traditionally, Lombardy gives centrist results in elections, reflecting its strong middle class. The Communists and their successors – the Democratic Party of the Left, the Democrats of the Left and the present-day Democratic Party – never prevailed.[1] In the 1980s Lombardy saw the organisation of a new regionalist party, the Lega LombardaLega Nord (LL–LN).

Lombardy is now a stronghold of the "centre-right coalition" composed of the LN and the liberal conservative Forza Italia (FI), founded by Lombard entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi. The coalition, which was joined by the LN in 2000, has governed the region since 1995, under three Presidents, Roberto Formigoni (CDU/FI/PdL), Roberto Maroni (LL–LN) and Attilio Fontana (LL–LN).

On 22 October 2017 an autonomy referendum took place in Lombardy: 38.3% of Lombards participated and 95.3% voted "yes".

Legislative branch

The Regional Council of Lombardy is composed of 80 members. 64 councillors are elected in provincial constituencies by proportional representation using the largest remainder method with a Droop quota and open lists, while 16 councillors (elected in a general ticket) come from a "regional list", including the President-elect. One seat is reserved for the candidate who comes second. If a coalition wins more than 50% of the total seats in the Council with PR, as happened during the 2000 election, only 8 candidates from the regional list will be chosen and the number of those elected in provincial constituencies will be 72. If the winning coalition receives less than 50% of votes, as happened during the 1995 election, special seats are added to the Council to ensure a large majority for the President's coalition.[2][3][4]

The Council is elected for a five-year term, but, if the President suffers a vote of no confidence, resigns or dies, under the simul stabunt, simul cadent clause introduced in 1999 (literally they will stand together or they will fall together), also the Council is dissolved and a snap election is called.[5][6]

2018–2023 composition

Distribution of Seats in the Regional Council
Political Group 2018 Now
Lega LombardaLega Nord 29 29
Democratic Party 16 16
Forza Italia 14 14
Five Star Movement 13 13
Brothers of Italy 3 3
Gori List 2 2
Fontana List 1 1
Us with Italy 1 1
Energies for Italy 1 1

Source: Regional Council of Lombardy

Executive branch

The Regional Cabinet (Giunta Regionale) is presided by the President of the Region (Presidente della Regione), who is elected for a five-year term, and is currently composed by 16 members: the President and 15 regional ministers (Assessori, literally "aldermen"), including a Vice President (Vice Presidente), while 4 under-secretaries (Sottosegretari) help the President but have not right of vote when the cabinet meets.[7]

Current composition

Party Members
Lega Nord LN President
and 9 ministers
Forza Italia FI 4 ministers
Brothers of Italy FdI 2 ministers
Popular Lombardy LP 1 minister
Minister Party Delegate for Province
Fabrizio Sala FI Vice president, research, university, export and internationalization MB
Davide Caparini LN Finance and simplification BS
Massimo Sertori LN Local government, mountains and small municipalities SO
Claudia Terzi LN Infrastructures, transports and sustainable mobility BG
Melania De Nichilo Rizzoli FI Public instruction and labour MI
Silvia Piani LN Family, parenthood and equal opportunities PV
Stefano Bolognini LN Social policies, social housing and disabilities MI
Riccardo De Corato FdI Public security MI
Martina Cambiaghi LN Youth and sport MB
Alessandro Mattinzoli FI Economic development BS
Pietro Foroni LN Territory and civil protection LO
Lara Magoni FdI Tourism, marketing and fashion BG
Giulio Gallera FI Healthcare and welfare MI
Stefano Bruno Galli LN Autonomy and cultural heritage MI
Fabio Rolfi LN Agricolture, food policies and green systems BS
Raffaele Cattaneo LP Environment and climate VA

List of Presidents

The current President of Lombardy is Attilio Fontana, who is serving for his first term after winning the 2018 regional election.

President Term of office Party Administration Coalition Legislature
Duration in years, months and days
Presidents elected by the Regional Council (1970–1995)
1 Piero Bassetti
(Born 1928)
29 July
27 June
DC Bassetti DC  PSI  PSDI  PRI I
3 years, 10 months and 30 days
2 Cesare Golfari
27 June
1 October
Golfari II DC  PSI  PRI II
5 years, 3 months and 5 days
3 Giuseppe Guzzetti
(Born 1934)
1 October
17 July
DC Guzzetti I DC  PSI  PSDI  PRI
7 years, 9 months and 17 days
4 Bruno Tabacci
(Born 1946)
17 July
31 January
1 year, 6 months and 15 days
5 Giuseppe Giovenzana
(Born 1940)
31 January
12 December
DC Giovenzana I DC  PSI  PSDI  PRI  PLI
Giovenzana II DC  PSI  PRI  PLI V
3 years, 10 months and 13 days
6 Fiorella Ghilardotti
12 December
4 June
PDS Ghilardotti DC  PDS  PSI  FdV  PSDI
1 year, 5 months and 24 days
7 Paolo Arrigoni
(Born 1957)
4 June
27 June
LN Arrigoni PPI  LN  PDS
1 year and 24 days
Directly-elected Presidents (since 1995)
8 Roberto Formigoni
(Born 1947)
27 June
18 March
CDU Formigoni I Pole for Freedoms
FI Formigoni II House of Freedoms
Formigoni III House of Freedoms
PdL Formigoni IV PdL  LN IX
17 years, 8 months and 20 days
9 Roberto Maroni
(Born 1955)
18 March
26 March
LN Maroni LN  FI  FdI X
5 years and 9 days
10 Attilio Fontana
(Born 1952)
26 March
Incumbent LN Fontana LN  FI  FdI XI
1 year, 8 months and 13 days

Local government


Lombardy is divided in twelve provinces, which are a traditional form of local administration in the region, the first ones being yet established under Habsburg rule by Maria Theresa of Austria in the 18th century. Socialist and Christian-democratic ideas had an early diffusion in quite all the provinces around World War I. After the Fascist parenthesis, left-wing parties found their strongholds in south-eastern agricultural provinces near Emilia, especially in the Province of Mantua, while Christian Democracy obtained high scores in the northern mountainous part of the Region, where nowadays the Lega LombardaLega Nord gets a strong backing.

After the 2014 reform of local authorities the Province of Milan was replaced by the new Metropolitan City of Milan. Since 2014 the president of the province is no more elected directly by citizens, but is chosen by mayors and councilors of the municipalities of the province.

Province Inhabitants President Party Election
Metropolitan City of Milan
(former Province of Milan)
3,208,509 Giuseppe Sala
(metropolitan mayor)
Democratic Party 2016
Brescia 1,264,105 Samuele Alghisi Democratic Party 2018
Bergamo 1,108,298 Gianfranco Gafforelli Popular Civic List 2018
Varese 890,090 Emanuele Antonelli Forza Italia 2018
Monza and Brianza 866,076 Roberto Invernizzi Democratic Party 2017
Como 599,654 Fiorenzo Bongiasca Independent 2018
Pavia 547,926 Vittorio Poma Democratic Party 2016
Mantua 412,868 Beniamino Morselli Democratic Party 2016
Cremona 360,444 Davide Viola Democratic Party 2018
Lecco 339,254 Claudio Usuelli Forza Italia 2018
Lodi 229,413 Francesco Passerini Lega LombardaLega Nord 2018
Sondrio 181,712 Elio Moretti Independent 2018


Lombardy is also divided in 1,546 comuni (municipalities), which have even more history, having been established in the Middle Ages when they were the main places of government. There are twelve provincial capital cities in Lombardy and twenty-four comuni have more than 40,000 inhabitants, most of which are ruled by the centre-left.

Provincial capitals

Municipality Inhabitants Mayor Party Election
Milan 1,345,851 Giuseppe Sala Democratic Party 2016
Brescia 196,480 Emilio Del Bono Democratic Party 2018
Monza 122,671 Dario Allevi Forza Italia 2017
Bergamo 119,381 Giorgio Gori Democratic Party 2019
Como 84,495 Mario Landriscina Forza Italia 2017
Varese 80,799 Davide Galimberti Democratic Party 2016
Pavia 72,576 Fabrizio Fracassi Lega LombardaLega Nord 2019
Cremona 71,901 Gianluca Galimberti Democratic Party 2019
Mantua 48,671 Mattia Palazzi Democratic Party 2015
Lecco 47,999 Virginio Brivio Democratic Party 2015
Lodi 44,945 Sara Casanova Lega LombardaLega Nord 2017
Sondrio 21,568 Marco Scaramellini Lega LombardaLega Nord 2018

Others with 40,000+ inhabitants

Municipality Inhabitants Mayor Party Election
Busto Arsizio 83,106 Emanuele Antonelli Forza Italia 2016
Sesto San Giovanni 81,608 Roberto Di Stefano Forza Italia 2017
Cinisello Balsamo 75,078 Giacomo Ghilardi Lega LombardaLega Nord 2018
Vigevano 63,310 Andrea Sala Lega LombardaLega Nord 2015
Legnano 60,262 Gianbattista Fratus Lega LombardaLega Nord 2017
Gallarate 53,343 Andrea Cassani Lega LombardaLega Nord 2016
Rho 50,434 Pietro Romano Democratic Party 2016
Cologno Monzese 47,971 Angelo Rocchi Lega LombardaLega Nord 2015
Paderno Dugnano 46,633 Ezio Casati Democratic Party 2019
Lissone 44,923 Concettina Monguzzi Democratic Party 2017
Seregno 44,651 Alberto Rossi Democratic Party 2018
Rozzano 42,475 Gianni Ferretti Forza Italia 2019
Desio 41,865 Roberto Corti Democratic Party 2016

Parties and elections

Latest regional election

In the latest regional election, which took place on 4 March 2018, Attilio Fontana of the Lega LombardaLega Nord was elected President of Lombardy with the support of centre-right coalition. The election was paired with the 2018 general election.

4 March 2018 Lombard regional election results
Candidates Votes % Seats Parties Votes % Seats
Attilio Fontana 2,793,370 49.75 1
League 1,553,514 29.64 28
Forza Italia 750,628 14.32 14
Brothers of Italy 190,804 3.64 3
Fontana List 76,637 1.46 1
Us with ItalyUDC 66,355 1.26 1
Energies for Lombardy 27,967 0.53 1
Pensioners' Party 20,259 0.38
Total 2,686,610 51.29 48
Giorgio Gori 1,633,367 29.09 1
Democratic Party 1,008,496 19.24 15
Gori List 158,671 3.02 2
More Europe 108,743 2.07
Lombardy for the Autonomies Target 62,840 1.19
Together 35,071 0.66
Popular Civic List 20,668 0.39
Progressive Lombardy 20,036 0.38
Total 1,414,674 26.99 17
Dario Violi 974,984 17.36 Five Star Movement 933,243 17.80 13
Onorio Rosati 108,407 1.93 Free and Equal 111,296 2.12
Angela De Rosa 50,368 0.89 CasaPound Italy 45,416 0.86
Massimo Gatti 38,194 0.68 Left for Lombardy 35,713 0.68
Giulio Arrighini 15,791 0.28 Great North 13,769 0.26
Total candidates 5,614,481 100.00 2 Total parties 5,240,126 100.00 78
Source: Ministry of the Interior – Historical Archive of Elections


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