Pavia mayor most beloved in Italy, survey says
Tuscan governor most popular regional leader13 January, 17:45
Cattaneo had an approval rating of 68%, gaining 11 percentage points in a single year and 13.6 points since he was elected in 2009, found IPR Marketing in its survey Governance 2013 for the newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.
The second most popular in Italy was Bari Mayor Michele Emiliano, embraced by 66% of respondents in his southern Italian coastal city, while another southern Italian, Salerno Mayor Vincenzo De Luca came in third with 65% of voters polled backing him.
Florence mayor and newly elected chief of the country's centre-left Democratic Party (PD), Matteo Renzi, had a 55% approval rating among Florentine voters, up three percentage points over last year. The gain boosted Renzi's ranking to 26th place compared to 62nd just two years ago in 2012, but the percentage of Florentines backing him was still down 4.5% compared to his election in 2009, when he won 59.5% of the vote. Two out of three Italian mayors lost popularity over the last year, with Roman Mayor Ignazio Marino prominent among them.
Marino had an approval rating of 56.5%, down 7.4% compared to his win on election day last June. The survey, which also ranked the popularity of Italy's regional governors, found the chief of Rome's region, Lazio Governor Nicola Zingaretti also lost ground.
Zingaretti lost 2.7 percentage points of voter support since his election last February, slipping to 38%.
Meanwhile, Tuscan Governor Enrico Rossi ranked as most popular regional governor in Italy in the survey.
With an approval rating of 57%, Rossi edged out the survey favourite, Veneto Governor Luca Zaia, who came in second with a 56% approval rating, Zaia in past years has come out on the top of the list several times. Third in popularity was another surprise. Stefano Caldoro, governor of Campania - the region that contains Naples - gained support to achieve a 55% approval rating.
Italy's least popular governor was Rosario Crocetta, Governor of Sicily, with an approval rating of 35%. The openly gay, anti-mafia, centre-right governor in a traditionally centre-right region nevertheless gained 4.5 points over his election win in 2012.