Italy’s centre-left Democratic Party has a new leader. Matteo Renzi who is Mayor of Florence has won a primary election for the post.
The voting was open to all Italians – not just party members.
Renzi is seen as a new generation politician who is an outspoken critic of his party which has a history of deep divisions.
On winning the election Renzi said that for other politicians, and ‘jobsworth’ party members and for the establishment and political opportunists, it had all gone wrong for them.
Renzi’s nearest rival was Gianni Cuperio, a former communist and a candidate seen as representing the party’s old guard.
Renzi’s new broom approach is to distance himself from the old-style Left and try to appeal more to voters in Italy’s political centre.
Third placed was the web-savvy Pippo Civati.
The Democratic Party is the largest bloc in Italy’s fragile ruling coalition. Prime Minister Enrico Letta who is also a DP member did not stand in the election. A new man at the party’s helm could mean difficult times ahead between the two.