A quote from Corriere della Sera, 15 April 2008
[T]he radical Left has disappeared. Communists and greens have vanished, at least from parliament. They do not have a single senator or deputy [in the Italian parliament]. In the stunned eyes of the Rainbow people, the night was made even blacker by the triumph of Silvio Berlusconi, the impressive gains of the Northern League and the hard-to-refute claim of its secretary, Umberto Bossi: “The workers have voted for the Northern League”. Pause for effect: “The workers don’t vote for the Left any more. The Northern League is the new workers’ party”.
[...] Mr Bossi’s claim is backed up by the figures. Take the province of Vicenza. It’s an industrial province, an area of engineering and manufacturing [...] The Northern League outstripped the Rainbow Left at Valdagno by 30% to 2.1% – in a town where forty years ago rioters pulled down the statue to industrialist Gaetano Marzotto. […] The Left was annihilated in the two blue-collar towns of Chiampo (41% to 0.9%) and San Pietro Mussolino, where the local electorate, largely made up of factory workers and their families, gave Umberto Bossi an amazing 49.8% of the vote and the grouping that somewhat presumptuously calls itself the “only Left” a miserable 0.6%. […]
Never before, however, have we seen an entire political area vanish as if it had been swallowed up by the very earth.[…] For the first time in history since the fall of the Fascist dictatorship, Italy’s parliament will not have a single “red” sitting on its benches […] The truth is that this tetchy, daydreaming, belligerently pacifist Left, which in recent years has said no to high speed trains, wind power, peace mission, pension reform and almost everything else, has lost on all fronts. […] As the Left glumly folds away its flags, Silvio Berlusconi, Gianfranco Fini and above all Umberto Bossi smile triumphantly in the background among the celebrating workers that the Left can no longer reach.