To Machiavelli in this passage, the innovator is the conquering prince, bringing new laws:
". . . . the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness partly arises from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity [disbelief] of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have a had a long experience with them.
[the partisans will be of the old order]
"It is necessary, therefore, to inquire whether these innovators can rely on themselves, or have to rely on others. . . . can they rely on prayers or do they have to use force? In the first instance, they always succeed badly, and never compass anything; but when they can rely on themselves and use force, then they are rarely endangered."
--Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince (1513) Fifth Chapter 'New principalities'
Trans. W.K. Marriott, Everyman Library