Overturning the predictions Elly Schlein won the Democratic Party primary election becoming the youngest and first woman to be party secretary.

In her first speech after her victory, Schlein reiterated the political line she had taken, which emphasised the concern for the less well-off and less considered by the current government, the defence of public schools threatened by fascists attacks, the interest in strengthening public health and a strong ecological commitment: “we stand side by side with those who fight for climate justice” echoing a slogan from Fridays for Future and reminding us that we are consuming the planet’s resources faster and faster; the newly appointed secretary expressed her sorrow for the umpteenth tragedy at sea, attributing its responsibility to those who recently approved a decree against NGOs rescuing migrants at sea, announcing a tough opposition to the centre-right government.

On the controversial issue of the war in Ukraine, Schlein recently said she was ‘very much against the increase in linear military spending that we are seeing in many European countries’ but voted in parliament on resolutions sending arms to Ukraine, prompting criticism from pacifists. Surely the issue will be one of the first that she will have to clarify as Secretary of the PD.