Matteo Salvini’s League surged in a second round of municipal voting in Italy, confirming a steady pickup in support for the anti-migrant party since March’s national elections.
Candidates from the League and traditional allies Forza Italia and Brothers of Italy won in the second round of local votes in most Italian cities, data on the Interior Ministry’s website show.
The centre-right alliance won in traditionally left-wing Tuscan cities including medieval Siena and Pisa. The League also won in Terni, beating the candidate of the Five Star Movement, its national government coalition partner.
Salvini called the result “historic” in a Facebook post Monday. Support for the League has surged since the March 4 general election in Italy and the party is now neck and neck with Five Star in the most recent polls. Salvini’s party also outshone Five Star in the first round of city elections on June 10.
Salvini, the country’s deputy prime minister and interior minister, has become the most visible and outspoken member of the new coalition, stopping migrant ships from reaching Italy and taunting French President Emmanuel Macron.
Following the election results, Salvini announced a trip to Libya Monday to discuss plans to tackle the flow of migrants traveling from Africa to Italy.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said an informal European Union summit in Brussels Sunday set the right tone on immigration. According to a government official, Italy is open to discussing an EU agreement on migrants but will not accept anything on secondary movements at this stage.