Politics of Veneto

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The Politics of Veneto, a Region of Italy takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democracy, whereby the President is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the Regional Government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Regional Council.

The Statute of Veneto was promulgated in 1971 and largely rewritten in 2011. Article 1 defines Veneto as an "autonomous Region", "constituted by the Venetian people and the lands of the provinces of Belluno, Padua, Rovigo, Treviso, Venice, Verona and Vicenza", while maintaining "bonds with Venetians in the world". Article 2 sets forth the principle of the "self-government of the Venetian people" and mandates the Region to "promote the historical identity of the Venetian people and civilisation".[1]

On 22 October 2017 an autonomy referendum took place in Veneto: 57.2% of Venetians participated and 98.1% voted "yes".

The current president of Veneto is Luca Zaia of Liga VenetaLega Nord, which is the largest party in the Regional Council too.

Political history[edit]

Prior to the rise of Fascism, most of the deputies elected in Veneto were part of the liberal establishment (see Historical Right, Historical Left and Liberals), which governed Italy for decades, but also the main opposition parties, namely the Radical Party and the Italian Socialist Party, had a good sway among Venetian voters. In the 1919 general election, the first held with proportional representation, the Catholic-inspired Italian People's Party came first with 42.6% (gaining at least 10% more than in any other region) and the Socialists were in second place with 36.2%. In the 1924 general election, which led Italy to dictatorship, Veneto was one of the few regions, along with Lombardy and Piedmont, which did not return an absolute majority to the National Fascist Party.[2]

From World War II to 1994 Veneto was the heartland of Christian Democracy, which polled 60.5% in the 1953 general election and steadily above 50% until the late 1970s, and led the Regional Government from its establishment in 1970 to 1993. In the 1990s Veneto became a stronghold of the centre-right Pole/House of Freedoms coalition, which governed the region from 1995 to 2010 under Giancarlo Galan of Forza Italia. In 2010 Galan was replaced by Luca Zaia of Liga VenetaLega Nord, who obtained a hefty and record-breaking 60.2% of the vote and whose coalition included The People of Freedom/Forza Italia and, since 2013, the New Centre-Right;[3] Liga Veneta was the largest party with 35.2% of the vote. Zaia and Liga Veneta were confirmed in 2015, with a reduced but more cohesive majority, due to the split of Tosi List for Veneto and the diminishment of Forza Italia: Zaia won 50.1% of the vote, while Liga Veneta a thumping 40.9%, largely ahead of the opposition Democratic Party's 20.5%.

Veneto is home to Venetian nationalism (or Venetism), a political movement that appeared in the 1970s, demanding political and fiscal autonomy for the region (which is felt by Venetists to be a nation in its own right) and promoting Venetian culture, language and history. This was the background from which Liga Veneta emerged in 1980. In the 1990s and 2000s other Venetist parties (the Union of the Venetian People, the Veneto Autonomous Region Movement, Lega Autonomia Veneta, Liga Veneta Repubblica, North-East Project, etc.) emerged, but they never touched the popularity of Liga Veneta, which was a founding member of Lega Nord in 1991. Some Venetists have campaigned for federal reform and/or autonomy, others (notably including the Venetian National Party, the Party of the Venetians, Veneto State, Venetian Independence, Veneto First, Plebiscito.eu, Venetian Left, Independence We Veneto and We Are Veneto) for outright independence.

Executive branch[edit]

The Regional Government is led by the President of Veneto and composed of the President and ten Ministers (Assessori), including a Vice President.

Current composition[edit]

The current regional government has been in office from 29 June 2015, under the leadership of President Luca Zaia of Liga VenetaLega Nord.

Zaia II Government
Office Name Party
President Luca Zaia Liga Veneta
Vice President Gianluca Forcolin Liga Veneta
Minister of Budget and Local Government Gianluca Forcolin Liga Veneta
Minister of Health and Social Programs Luca Coletto (until December 2018) Liga Veneta
Manuela Lanzarin (since January 2019) Liga Veneta
Minister of Economic Development and Energy Roberto Marcato Liga Veneta
Minister of Public Works, Infrastructures and Transports Elisa De Berti Liga Veneta
Minister of Agriculture, Hunting and Fishing Giuseppe Pan Liga Veneta
Minister of Education and Labour Elena Donazzan Forza Italia (until 2018)
Brothers of Italy (since 2019)
Minister of Social Affairs Manuela Lanzarin Liga Veneta
Minister of EU Programs, Tourism and International Trade Federico Caner Liga Veneta
Minister of Environment and Civil Protection Gianpaolo Bottacin Liga Veneta
Minister of Culture, City Planning and Security Cristiano Corazzari Liga Veneta

Source: Veneto Region – Regional Government

List of previous Governments[edit]

Governments of Veneto
Government President Party Coalition Vice President Party Term Legislature
Tomelleri I Angelo Tomelleri DC DC Paolo Tartari DC 1970–1971 I Legislature
Tomelleri II Angelo Tomelleri DC DC Paolo Tartari DC 1971–1972
Feltrin Piero Feltrin DC DC Paolo Tartari DC 1972–1973
Tomelleri III Angelo Tomelleri DC DC Marino Cortese DC 1973–1975
Tomelleri IV Angelo Tomelleri DC DCPRI Giancarlo Gambaro DC 1975–1977 II Legislature
Tomelleri V Angelo Tomelleri DC DC Marino Cortese DC 1977–1980
Bernini I Carlo Bernini DC DCPSDI[a] Marino Cortese DC 1980–1985 III Legislature
Bernini II Carlo Bernini DC DCPSIPSDIPLI Umberto Carraro PSI 1985–1989 IV Legislature
Cremonese I Gianfranco Cremonese DC DCPSIPSDIPLI Umberto Carraro PSI 1989–1990
Cremonese II Gianfranco Cremonese DC DCPSIPRIPSDI Amalia Sartori PSI 1990–1992 V Legislature
Frigo Franco Frigo DC DCPSIFdV Renzo Burro PSI 1992–1993
Pupillo Giuseppe Pupillo PDS DCPDS[b]PSIFdVUPV Carlo Alberto Tesserin DC 1993–1994
Bottin Aldo Bottin PPI PPI[c]LVFI[d]UPVPLICPALP Gian Paolo Gobbo LV 1994–1995
Galan I Giancarlo Galan FI FIANCDU[e]CCD Bruno Canella AN 1995–2000 VI Legislature
Galan II Giancarlo Galan FI FILVANCDU[f]CCD[f] Fabio Gava FI 2000–2005 VII Legislature
Galan III Giancarlo Galan FI FI[g]LVAN[g]UDCNPSI Luca Zaia / Franco Manzato LV 2005–2010 VIII Legislature
Zaia I Luca Zaia LV LVPdL[h] Marino Zorzato PdL 2010–2015 IX Legislature
Zaia II Luca Zaia LV LVFI Gianluca Forcolin FI 2015–present X Legislature

Source: Region of Venet

  1. ^ The PSDI joined the government in 1981.
  2. ^ The PDS succeeded to the PCI in 1991.
  3. ^ The PPI succeeded to the DC in 1994.
  4. ^ Some members of the disbanded DC formed FI in 1994.
  5. ^ The regional councillors of the CDU were elected from a joint list with FI.
  6. ^ a b The CDU and the CCD were merged into the UDC in 2002.
  7. ^ a b FI and AN were merged into the PdL in 2009.
  8. ^ The PdL was disbanded in 2013; its members joined either FI or the NCD. Vice President Marino Zorzato joined the NCD.

Legislative branch[edit]

The Regional Council of Veneto (Consiglio Regionale del Veneto) is composed of 51 members. 49 councillors are elected in provincial constituencies by proportional representation using the largest remainder method with a Droop quota and open lists, while the remaining two are the elected President and the candidate for President who comes second. The winning coalition wins a bonus of seats in order to make sure the elected President has a majority in the Council.[4][5][6]

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 (literally: "they will stand together or they will fall together") clause introduced in 1999, also the Council is dissolved and a snap election is called.[7]

Current composition[edit]

Distribution of Seats in the Regional Council
Political Group Leader 2015 Now
Liga VenetaLega Nord Nicola Finco 11 12
Zaia for President[a][b] Silvia Rizzotto 13 10
Democratic Party Alessandra Moretti / Stefano Fracasso 9 8
Five Star Movement Jacopo Berti / rotational leadership 5 4
Brothers of Italy[c] Sergio Berlato / Andrea Bassi 1 3
Forza Italia / More Italy!–I Love Veneto[d] Massimiliano Barison / Massimo Giorgetti 3 2
Moretti President / Civic List for Veneto Franco Ferrari 2 2
Civic Veneto / United Venetians Pietro Dalla Libera[e] 1 2
Tosi List for Veneto / Veneto for AutonomyForza Italia Stefano Casali / Maurizio Conte[f] 3 1
NCDUdCPopular Area / Popular AreaForza Italia Marino Zorzato[g] 1 1
Independence We Veneto / We Are Veneto / Party of Venetians Antonio Guadagnini 1 1
Veneto of Acting / Veneto Autonomous Heart Giovanna Negro 1 1
Venetian Centre-Right[h] Stefano Casali / Andrea Bassi 0 0
Mixed Group[i] Piero Ruzzante 0 4

Sources: Regional Council of Veneto – Groups and Regional Council of Veneto – Members

Local government[edit]


Veneto is subdivided into seven provinces, including Venice which has functioned as a metropolitan city since 2015.

All the seven provinces, but especially Vicenza, Verona and Padua, were long Christian Democratic heartlands. In the early 1990s, when the Venetian and Italian party systems experienced huge realignments, Treviso, Vicenza and Verona became strongholds of Liga VenetaLega Nord, while in Padua, the region's most populated, Forza Italia/The People of Freedom/Forza Italia was the dominant political force; only two provinces, Venice and Rovigo, have traditionally been the powerbases of the centre-left and, more recently, the Democratic Party, while Belluno is a swing province. In the 2015 regional election Liga Veneta came largely first in each and every province.

Since 2014 provinces have lost many powers to the region and the municipalities, and, contextually, provincial presidents have been elected by mayors and municipal councillors, whose votes are weighted according to the population of their municipalities. In some cases, elected Presidents represent bipartisan or trans-party coalitions. For instance, Enoch Soranzo was elected in Padua thanks to the decisive support of the Democratic Party, while the majority of his party, Liga Veneta, had endorsed another candidate,[8] and Achille Variati was endorsed both by the Democrats and Forza Italia in Vicenza.[9] In 2015 the Province of Venice was replaced by the Metropolitan City of Venice and the mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, was sworn in as metropolitan mayor too.

Province Inhabitants President Party Election
Province of Padua 936,887 Fabio Bui Democratic Party 2018
Province of Verona 922,383 Manuel Scalzotto Liga Veneta 2018
Province of Treviso 885,447 Stefano Marcon Liga Veneta 2016
Province of Vicenza 867,314 Fabio Rucco Independent (Brothers of Italy) 2018
Province of Venice
Metropolitan City of Venice
855,696 Luigi Brugnaro
(metropolitan mayor)
Independent (Forza Italia) 2015
Province of Rovigo 240,540 Ivan Dall'Ara Independent (Forza Italia) 2018
Province of Belluno 206,856 Roberto Padrin Independent (Democratic Party) 2018


Twenty-seven comuni of Veneto have more than 25,000 inhabitants.

Eleven are controlled by Liga Veneta, five by the Democratic Party, four by Forza Italia and one by the Five Star Movement. Six mayors are formally non-party independents: three of these are supported by Liga Veneta and Forza Italia, another by the Democratic Party and the remaining two by local independent coalitions.

Municipality Inhabitants Mayor Party Election
Venice (list) 263,352 Luigi Brugnaro Independent (Forza Italia) 2015
Verona (list) 258,765 Federico Sboarina Independent (Forza Italia) 2017
Padua (list) 210,401 Sergio Giordani Independent (Democratic Party) 2017
Vicenza (list) 112,953 Francesco Rucco Independent (Brothers of Italy) 2018
Treviso (list) 83,731 Mario Conte Liga Veneta 2018
Rovigo (list) 51,867 Edoardo Gaffeo Democratic Party 2019
Chioggia 49,706 Alessandro Ferro Five Star Movement 2016
Bassano del Grappa 43,372 Elena Pavan Liga Veneta 2019
San Donà di Piave 41,778 Andrea Cereser Democratic Party 2018
Schio 39,355 Valter Orsi Independent (ex-Liga Veneta) 2019
Belluno (list) 35,870 Jacopo Massaro Independent (ex-Democratic Party) 2017
Mira 38,575 Marco Dori Democratic Party 2017
Conegliano 34,891 Fabio Chies Forza Italia 2017
Villafranca di Verona 33,246 Roberto Dall'Oca Forza Italia 2018
Castelfranco Veneto 33,234 Stefano Marcon Liga Veneta 2015
Montebelluna 33,194 Marzio Favero Liga Veneta 2016
Vittorio Veneto 28,232 Antonio Miatto Liga Veneta 2019
Spinea 27,927 Martina Vesnaver Liga Veneta 2019
Mogliano Veneto 27,659 Davide Bortolato Liga Veneta 2019
Mirano 27,045 Maria Rosa Pavanello Democratic Party 2017
Valdagno 26,234 Giancarlo Acerbi Democratic Party 2019
Jesolo 26,122 Valerio Zoggia Forza Italia 2017
Arzignano 25,844 Alessia Bevilacqua Liga Veneta 2019
Albignasego 25,577 Filippo Giacinti Forza Italia 2016
Legnago 25,351 Graziano Lorenzetti Liga Veneta 2019
Portogruaro 25,142 Maria Teresa Senatore Liga Veneta 2015
San Giovanni Lupatoto 25,066 Attilio Gastaldello Liga Veneta 2016

Political parties and elections[edit]

Latest regional election[edit]

The latest regional election took place on 31 May 2015.

Luca Zaia of Liga VenetaLega Nord was re-elected President by a landslide 50.1% of the vote. Liga Veneta, which ran an official party list and a list named after Zaia, was confirmed the largest in the region with 40.9%. The Democratic Party came second with 20.5% (combined result of official party list and Alessandra Moretti's personal list) and the Five Star Movement third with 10.4%. The total score of Venetist parties was 54.3%, the highest ever.

31 May 2015 Venetian regional election results
Veneto Regional Council 2015.svg
Candidates Votes % Seats Parties Votes % Seat
Luca Zaia 1,108,065 50.09 1
Zaia for President 427,363 23.09 13
Liga VenetaLega Nord 329,966 17.83 10
Forza Italia 110,573 5.97 3
Independence We Veneto 49,929 2.70 1
Brothers of Italy 48,163 2.60 1
Total 965,994 52.19 28
Alessandra Moretti 503,147 22.74 1
Democratic Party 308,438 16.66 8
Moretti for President 70,764 3.82 2
Civic Veneto (incl. PSI, SC and IdV) 26,903 1.45 1
New Veneto (incl. SEL, FdV and SV) 20,282 1.10
Autonomous Veneto Project 6,242 0.34
Total 432,629 23.37 11
Jacopo Berti 262,749 11.88 Five Star Movement 192,630 10.41 5
Flavio Tosi 262,569 11.87
Tosi List for Veneto 105,836 5.72 3
Popular Area (incl. NCD and UdC) 37,937 2.05 1
Veneto of Acting 26,119 1.41 1
Pensioners' Party 14,625 0.79
North-East Union 11,173 0.60
Veneto Confederal State 3,487 0.19
Total 199,177 10.76 5
Alessio Morosin 55,760 2.52 Venetian Independence 46,578 2.52
Laura Coletti 19,914 0.90 The Other Veneto (incl. PRC and PCd'I) 13,997 0.76
Total candidates 2,212,204 100.00 2 Total parties 1,851,005 100.00 49
Source: Ministry of the Interior

Latest general election in Veneto[edit]

The centre-right coalition (48.1%), dominated by the Lega (Liga Veneta), obtained a resounding victory, being largely ahead of the Five Star Movement (24.4%) and the centre-left coalition (20.3%). The Lega (32.2%) was largely the largest party, followed by the Five Star Movement (24.4%), the Democratic Party (16.7%) and Forza Italia (10.6%). Under the new electoral system, which re-introduced single-seat constituencies, the centre-right won all such constituencies.

Chamber of Deputies[edit]

Coalition Party Proportional First-past-the-post Total
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
Centre-right coalition Lega (incl. Liga Veneta) 918,985 32.2 11 1,373,372 48.1 12 23
Forza Italia (incl. VpA) 302,879 10.6 3 6 9
Brothers of Italy 119,770 4.2 2 1 3
Us with Italy 31,738 1.1 - - -
16 19 35
Five Star Movement 696,741 24.4 8 696,741 24.4 - 8
Centre-left coalition Democratic Party 477,025 16.7 7 579,897 20.3 - 7
More Europe 77,344 2.7 - - -
Together 14,234 0.5 - - -
Popular Civic List 11,294 0.4 - - -
7 - 7
Free and Equal 77,623 2.7 - 77,623 2.7 - -
The People of Family 30,233 1.1 - 30,233 1.1 - -
Casa Pound Italy 28,078 1.0 - 28,078 1.0 - -
Others 71,646 2.5 - 71,646 2.5 - -
Total 2,856,590 100.0 31 2,856,590 100.0 19 50

Sources: Ministry of the Interior, Corriere del Veneto


Coalition Party Proportional First-past-the-post Total
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
Centre-right coalition Lega (incl. Liga Veneta) 839,586 31.8 5 1,272,555 48.2 4 9
Forza Italia (incl. VpA) 286,906 10.9 2 3 5
Brothers of Italy 113,108 4.3 1 1 2
Us with Italy 32,955 1.2 - 1 1
8 9 17
Five Star Movement 647,960 24.5 4 647,960 24.5 - 4
Centre-left coalition Democratic Party 450,230 17.0 3 539,398 20.4 - 3
More Europe 66,970 2.5 - - -
Together 12,709 0.5 - - -
Popular Civic List 9,489 0.4 - - -
3 - 3
Free and Equal 66,813 2.5 - 66,813 2.5 - -
The People of Family 28,593 1.1 - 28,593 1.1 - -
Casa Pound Italy 22,619 0.9 - 22,619 0.9 - -
Others 63,525 2.4 - 63,525 2.4 - -
Total 2,641,463 100.0 15 2,641,463 100.0 9 24

Sources: Ministry of the Interior, Corriere della Sera


  1. ^ All the group members are affiliated to Liga VenetaLega Nord. See http://www.larena.it/territori/citt%C3%A0/valdegamberipassa-nel-gruppo-misto-1.5531130.
  2. ^ Three members left the group for technical reasons: Nicola Finco in order to lead the group of Liga VenetaLega Nord, Stefano Valdegamberi to balance the composition of the Mixed Group, and Fabiano Barbisan to help the formation of the Venetian Centre-Right group.
  3. ^ The group was originally composed of just one member, Sergio Berlato, who left in February 2020 in order to become a MEP. He was replaced by Joe Formaggio. Contextually, the group was joined by Andrea Bassi and Stefano Casali, splinters of Tosi List for Veneto and, later, founding members of Venetian Centre-Right. The party counts two more councillors, Elena Donazzan and Massimo Giorgetti, who are splinters from Forza Italia and continue to sit in their original group. Af sixth coincillor, Massimiliano Barison, was a member of Brothers of Italy and the group from January 2018 to June 2019.
  4. ^ The remaining two members of the group, Massimo Giorgetti and Elena Donazzan, were no longer affiliated to Forza Italia by mid 2018, both citing disagreements with the party's regional leadership. In December 2018 Donazzan launched I Love Veneto. In February 2019 Giorgetti joined Brothers of Italy, but chose not to join that party's group and to mainatin his affiliation with Donazzan. In March 2019 the name of the group was finally changed. In June 2019 also Donazzan joined Brothers of Italy.
  5. ^ Founding member Piero Dalla Libera was elected as part of the centre-left coalition and then switched its allegiance to the majority led by President Luca Zaia. In June 2019 he was joined by Massimiliano Barison, a former member of Forza Italia and Brothers of Italy.
  6. ^ Maurizio Conte joined Forza Italia in August 2017, but was not able to add the party's name to that of the group until March 2019.
  7. ^ Marino Zorzato joined Forza Italia in November 2018, but was not able to add the party's name to that of the group until March 2019.
  8. ^ The group was formed in May 2017 by Fabiano Barbisan of Liga Veneta, who joined the group for technical purposes, and two splinters of the Tosi List for Veneto, Andrea Bassi and Stefano Casali. In February 2020 the latter two joined Brothers of Italy and the group was thus dissolved.
  9. ^ Members: Piero Ruzzante, splinter of the Democratic Party and member of Article One; Stefano Valdegamberi, a former member of the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats and elect of the Zaia President list in 2015; Patrizia Bartelle, splinter of the Five Star Movement and member of Italy in Common; and Fabiano Barbisan, a member of Liga Veneta who had been a member of Venetian Centre-Right from May 2017 to February 2020. Ruzzante and Bartelle form a joint sub-group named "Veneto 2020", while Valdegamberi's affiliation is Tzimbar Earde, "Cimbrian Land", due to his Cimbrian roots.


  1. ^ "Consiglio Regionale Veneto – Leggi Regionali".
  2. ^ Piergiorgio Corbetta; Maria Serena Piretti, Atlante storico-elettorale d'Italia, Zanichelli, Bologna 2009
  3. ^ In 2009 Forza Italia was merged into The People of Freedom, which was transformed into the new Forza Italia in 2013, causing the split of the New Centre-Right.
  4. ^ "Elezioni Regione Veneto 2015".
  5. ^ "COME SI VOTA/ Video, Elezioni Regionali Veneto 2015: fac-simile scheda, seggi speciali e i documenti necessari (oggi, domenica 31 maggio)".
  6. ^ "Sette leggi per sette regioni. Le differenze fra i sistemi elettorali". 25 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Home – Consiglio Regionale della Lombardia" (PDF).
  8. ^ "Enoch Soranzo eletto presidente della Provincia di Padova – Cronaca – Il Mattino di Padova". 13 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Province: Soranzo, Pastorello, Variati, Trombini i nuovi presidenti".


External links[edit]