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2009 Democratic Party (Italy) leadership election

The 2009 Democratic Party leadership election was held in July–November 2009, following the resignation of Walter Veltroni in February 2009, after 16 months as secretary of the Democratic Party (PD), a political party in Italy.

2009 Democratic Party leadership election

← 2007 25 October 2009 2013 →
  Pier Luigi Bersani daticamera 2013.jpg Dario Franceschini daticamera 2013.jpg Ignazio Marino crop.jpg
Nominee Pier Luigi Bersani Dario Franceschini Ignazio Marino
Party Democratic Party Democratic Party Democratic Party
Delegate count 530 339 131
Popular vote 1,623,239 1,045,123 380,904
Percentage 53.2% 34.3% 12.5%

Secretary before election

Dario Franceschini

Elected Secretary

Pier Luigi Bersani

Pier Luigi Bersani, a former minister in several centre-left governments hailing from the Italian Communist Party (then Democratic Party of the Left and Democrats of the Left), was elected secretary in an open primary on 25 October. Three million Democratic supporters turned out to vote and it was a real fight between three candidates, with Bersani winning with only 53% of the votes cast.

Bersani was declared new secretary of the party during the first meeting of the party's new national assembly elected on 7 November 2009. On that occasion Rosy Bindi was elected president of the party (with Marina Sereni and Ivan Scalfarotto vice-presidents), while Enrico Letta and Antonio Misiani were nominated deputy-secretary and treasurer, respectively.[1][2]

Background and rulesEdit

Veltroni, a former leader of the Democrats of the Left and Deputy Prime Minister in Prodi I Cabinet, was elected in an open primary election in 2007 by a landslide, but left the post of leader after a series of electoral defeats one and a half years before the natural conclusion of his term. He was replaced by his deputy, Dario Franceschini, a former left-wing Christian Democrat hailing from Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy.

Candidates were required to present their candidacies by 31 July 2009. From that point til the end of September party members voted in local conventions, choosing between the candidates and electing the delegates for the national convention. Under party rules the candidates who receive the support of at least the 15% of voting party members in local conventions or in any case the three most voted candidates, provided that they had received at least 5% of the vote, qualify for the second round of the race and have the chance to present their platform at the national convention.

After the national convention, that was scheduled on 11 October, the selected candidates stood in an open primary election, held on 25 October, with all Italian citizens aged at least 16 and non-Italian legal residents being eligible to vote. Voters elected also the national assembly of the party and the regional secretaries and assemblies. If no candidate was to get more than 50% of the vote, a run-off between the two most voted candidates would have taken place in the national assembly, scheduled within two weeks from the primary election.[3][4]


Three candidates ran for secretary:

The candidacy of Marino might have prompted an alternative bid of Paola Binetti, leader of the socially conservative Teodems,[22] but she finally chose to support Franceschini,[12] along with Rutelli, as also Ermete Realacci, leader of the Democratic Ecologists did.[23]

Mario Adinolfi, a former Christian Democrat, journalist and blogger who ran also in 2007 (gaining a mere 0.2%), announced his candidacy on 30 June, proposing "direct democracy" and a "radical renewal",[24] but finally withdrew in favour of Franceschini.[25]

Renato Nicolini, architect, university professor and former culture councillor of Rome under three Communist mayors (1976–1985), announced his bid on 21 July,[26] but he later withdrew from the race after failing to collect the required signatures in support of his bid.

Beppe Grillo, popular comedian and blogger, announced his bid on 12 July,[27] but its candidacy was rejected by the party's electoral commission.[28]

Opinion pollsEdit

According to an opinion poll taken on 13 July 2009 by Crespi Ricerche, a 33.4% of Democratic voters would have voted in the primary election. Under the same poll, Franceschini was backed by a 27.1% of respondents, Bersani by a 25.4%, Grillo by a 19.8% and Marino by a 15.2%; a 12.5% was undecided.[29]

Another poll by IPR Marketing, published on 11 August, put Bersani largely ahead with 54%, Franceschini distant second with 35% and Marino third with 11%. According to this poll a 56% of Democratic voters (that is to say 19% of the whole electorate) are likely or sure to go to the polls.[30]

A poll published by Crespi Ricerche on 10 September put Bersani and Franceschini neck and neck, respectively at 43.7% and 39.6%, with Marino distant third with 9.2% and 7.5% of voters who declared themselves as undecided.[31]


Vote by party membersEdit

On 8 October 2009 the party's electoral commission released the results of the vote among party members. In the local congresses a 56.4% of party members got out and vote. Bersani was by far the most voted candidate with 55.1% of the vote, largely ahead of Franceschini (37.0%) and Marino (7.9%).[32]

Candidates Votes %
Pier Luigi Bersani 255,189 55.1
Dario Franceschini 171.041 37.0
Ignazio Marino 36.674 7.9
Total 462,904 100.0

Source: Democratic Party Electoral Commission

Vote by party members

Primary electionEdit

On 25 October 2009 more than 3 million voters turned out to vote in an open primary. Bersani was elected new secretary of the party with 53.2% of the popular vote, Franceschini came second with 34.3% and Marino third with 12.5%.

The following results refer to the 100% of ballots counted:

Candidates Votes % Delegates
Pier Luigi Bersani 1,603,531 53.2 530
Dario Franceschini 1,035,026 34.3 339
Ignazio Marino 378,211 12.5 131
Total 3,016,768 100.0 1,000

Sources: Democratic Party Electoral Commission, La Repubblica and La Stampa

Popular vote

Delegates summaryEdit

Portrait Name Logo Delegates
530/1000 (53%)

339/1000 (34%)

131/1000 (13%)


  1. ^ "La squadra di Bersani Letta sarà numero due Scalfarotto vicepresidente". 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  2. ^ "Bersani segretario: siamo l' alternativa Sulle riforme confronto in Parlamento". 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  3. ^ "Il Pd va alla conta: congresso a ottobre". 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  4. ^ "Regolamento per l'elezione del Segretario e dell'Assemblea Nazionale". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  5. ^ "Franceschini scende in campo "Non lascio a chi c' era prima"". 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  6. ^ "Veltroni di nuovo in campo e si schiera con Franceschini". 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  7. ^ "Veltroni sceglie Franceschini "Pd maggioritario o non c' è"". 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  8. ^ "Con Franceschini per un partito autonomo No a chi rimpiange il collateralismo Cgil". 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  9. ^ "Quarta Fase". Archived from the original on 2011-07-22.
  10. ^ "Rutelli chiama a raccolta i suoi: ora un nuovo inizio". 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  11. ^ "Rutelli: appoggio Franceschini ma a certe condizioni". 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  12. ^ a b "Rutelli avverte i candidati "Noi non faremo sconti"". 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  13. ^ a b "Bersani lancia la sua sfida "Il Pd deve essere laico"". 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  14. ^ "Pd: Angius, "Spero Che Bersani Riesca Nell'Impresa."". Democrazia e Socialismo. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  15. ^ "Asse Bersani-prodiani E nel Pd è disputa sul "marchio" Ulivo". 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  16. ^ "Sfida per le primarie, oggi gli ultimi appelli". 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  17. ^ "Bindi: "Sostengo Bersani ma niente ticket .Non promuovo il segretario" - Corriere della Sera". Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  18. ^ "Io in campo per Bersani se lascia la socialdemocrazia". 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  19. ^ "L' ex ministro chiama Penati per coordinare la campagna". 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  20. ^ "Il chirurgo: io il terzo uomo Con me Bettini ed Englaro". Corriere della Sera. 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  21. ^ "Bettini: Franceschini lo specchio della crisi". 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  22. ^ "Il Tempo - Nel Pd parte la corsa per sostituire Franceschini". Il Tempo. 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  23. ^ "Bersani e il "modello bocciofila" "Pd, servono tessere e disciplina"". Corriere della Sera. 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  24. ^ "Mario Adinolfi in corsa per la segreteria del PD". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  25. ^ "Retromarcia Adinolfi si ritira: "Sostengo Dario" Spunta il 4° uomo - Interni - del 24-07-2009". 2009-07-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  26. ^ "Pd, spunta anche Nicolini - Corriere della Sera". Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  27. ^ "Grillo: "Mi candido alle primarie del Pd" - Corriere della Sera". 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  28. ^ "I democratici: no a Grillo Mozione sulla vita del premier". 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  29. ^ "CRESPI RICERCHE: LE PRIMARIE DEL PD - GRILLO SFIORA IL 20% - Clandestinoweb: sondaggi politici, elettorali. Il sondaggio politico elettorale che fa opinione". Clandestinoweb. Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ "I dati definitivi dei congressi di circolo". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2010-12-14.

External linksEdit