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Italy Elections 2013: Berlusconi Admits Defeat, Country 'Ungovernable', But Narrow Victor Is Pier Luigi Bersani

26/02/2013 09:13

The seemingly unstoppable political force that is billionaire mogul Silvio Berlusconi, who emerged from his latest political foray neck-and-neck with his centre-left rival in the Italian national elections, could finally be grinding to a halt as the political express train finally runs of gas.

Still, the haul of votes won by the former prime minister was hailed by HuffPost Italy as "a remarkable comeback."

berlusconi

Former Premier Silvio Berlusconi exits a booth as he votes in a polling station in Milan, Italy

The victor, in an nail-bitingly close election, is Pier Luigi Bersani's progressive coalition. His centre-left alliance won a majority in the lower house in the election, but have failed to decisively win the Senate, which it must hold to be able to legislate.

Bersani said in a statement: "The center has won the House and votes in the Senate. It is obvious to everyone that this is a delicate situation for the country. We will deal with the responsibilities that these elections have given us in the interests of Italy."

And a former stand-up comedian, Beppe Grillo, who has refused to give interviews to national media, instead preferring comic routines at the expense of the political class at national rallies has scooped up an astonishing haul of votes, with his party "5 Star Movement" neatly capitalising on voter disillusionment.

Italian media dubbed the country "ungovernable" and "a pig's mess". One of the leading broadsheets, Corriere della Sera, quote Renato Balduzzi, outgoing health minister as saying: “The voters have sent unmistakable signals.

"If one in four haven’t voted and the same number voted for a self-declared protest list of candidates, it means that it is absolutely necessary to do something. We hope that the political forces [centre-left and centre-right] have understood this. “

beppe grillo

Italian comic-turned-political agitator Beppe Grillo, leader of the anti-establishment 5 Star Movement, delivers his speech during a final rally

Almost a quarter of the country did not vote in the election. The current prime minister, Mario Monti, once dubbed "Super Mario" who fed the country a bitter austerity pill in the wake of the eurozone crisis, trailed a distant fourth.

Berlusconi on Tuesday declared himself open to an alliance with Bersani. "Italy cannot be left ungoverned, we have to reflect," Berlusconi said in a television interview. He ruled out a coalition with Monti, and said the country had "rejected" austerity.

Conversely, Bersani, a former communist, has signalled a willingness to form a coalition with Monti, but the formation of a new government could take days.

According to AP, the shockwaves post-election in the eurozone's third-biggest economy were felt across the globe – sending the Dow Jones index plunging more than 200 points in its sharpest drop since November and causing Tokyo's red-hot benchmark index to sink nearly 2 percent at open.

For a campaign that started as little more than a joke three years ago, comparable to the team of Mock The Week forming a political party led by Frankie Boyle, Grillo's party looks set to become the biggest single party in Parliament's lower house.

Berlusconi is also unlikely to ally with Grillo, his sex life having been the butt of the comedian's jokes for years.

But the party did not rule it out. "Dialogue with Berlusconi? It is very difficult to imagine that Berlusconi would propose useful ideas," said 5 Star Movement candidate Alessandro Di Battista told AP. "It never happened until now, but miracles happen."

With 99.7 percent of the lower house vote counted, the Bersani camp had had 29.55 percent of the vote, to Berlusconi's 29.17 percent. Grillo had 25.54 and Monti's alliance 10.56.

In the Senate, near complete Interior Ministry figures showed Bersani and his allies had nearly 32 percent while Berlusconi and his coalition partners were pulling nearly 31 percent. Grillo had more than 23 percent.

bersani

Pier Luigi Bersani, leader of the Democratic Party, casts his ballot, in Piacenza, Italy

The election result in Italy is expected to make it harder for the country to pass the reforms it needs to overhaul its debt-laden economy.

Rebecca O'Keeffe, head of investment at Interactive Investor, warned of increased volatility in the coming weeks after Italian voters served up the worst possible outcome for investors.

She said: "Equity markets have reacted swiftly and severely - giving up yesterday's gains and more.

"While an attempt at a coalition government may yet be made, no overall control seems the most probable outcome, with a second vote likely in the months ahead."

Despite the political posturing, wheeling and dealing, the Italian press are united on one thing they have known for years - never rule out Silvio.

The Candidates

02/25/2013 5:17 PM EST

A Victory...For Italian Democracy?

@ duncanmcdonnell :

Amid the confusion, today provides 1 nice reminder: Italian democracy's fate is not solely in hands of the markets, the EU, or editorials.

02/25/2013 5:09 PM EST

Chamber Of Deputies Deadlock?

The latest figures released by the interior ministry shows a 0,72% margin between the Centre-left and the Centre-right coalitions.

--Cosima Ungaro

02/25/2013 4:54 PM EST

Monti 'Satisfied' With Results

Outgoing Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said on Monday that no country has such a bad electoral law as Italy. Monti added that he is satisfied with results of his centrist coalition.

@ CiancioTR :

Monti says no country has such a bad electoral law as Italy #italyreuters #italyvote

02/25/2013 4:50 PM EST

Senate Results Could Change

According to HuffPost Italy, if the Centre-left coalition wins in the norther region of Piedmont, the Senate results would be overturned and the Democratic Party would win with a relative majority.

--Cosima Ungaro

02/25/2013 4:38 PM EST

Shock Wave Results

The Guardian reporters John Hooper and Lizzy Davies recap the biggest events of the day and come to a sobering conclusion.

They write:

Crucially, it seemed certain that neither right nor left could obtain an outright majority in the upper house, where the balance would be held by the M5S. So far, Grillo has ruled out supporting either side in his drive to sweep away Italy’s existing political parties and the cronyistic culture they support.

Exceeding even the most adventurous pre-electoral predictions, the populist M5S was set to emerge as Italy’s biggest single party - a result that will send shock waves through the eurozone and beyond. Because it is running alone and not in a coalition, however, Grillo’s movement lagged the two big alliances in the number of seats.

The emerging result indicated that fresh elections were a strong possibility and, at best, foreshadowed a weak government unable to pass the tough reforms Italy needs to enhance its grim economic prospects.

Read the full analysis on the Guardian website.

02/25/2013 4:33 PM EST

Stocks Plunge

@ AP :

Stocks plunge as investors worry that Italy could be seized with political paralysis; Dow drops 216: http://t.co/cAavWvIAuU -RJJ

02/25/2013 4:09 PM EST

Italy's Complicated Election Law

The Guardian explains Italy's complicated election laws, and recaps the latest results:

Election laws in Italy mean the biggest party in the Chamber of Deputies is guaranteed a 54% majority. But the Senate has no such "majority bonus". The latest projection from Rai shows Berlusconi's bloc winning 112 Senate seats, the centre-left 105, Grillo 64, with Monti's centrists on only 20. The Senate majority is 158.

Read more from The Guardian here.

02/25/2013 3:55 PM EST

Grillo Thanks His Supporters

Beppe Grillo spoke for the first time since the closing of the polls, thanking all his supporters for "a fantastic adventure."

Grillo added on his movement's YouTube channel that Italy's two main parties have failed. "They have been around for the past 25 years, they embody Italy's problem."

"Handing back the country to Silvio Berlusconi for six months, or a year, is a crime against the galaxy, against the entire galaxy," Grillo also said.

--Cosima Ungaro

02/25/2013 3:46 PM EST

Can't Keep A Good Man Down

berlusconi photo

The detail of a ripped election poster shows a smiling Silvio Berlusconi on February 25, 2013 in Livorno, Italy. (Laura Lezza/Getty Images)

02/25/2013 3:39 PM EST

Follow Grillo's Press Conference

@ beppe_grillo :

Interverrò in diretta streaming alle ore 21.30 su La Cosa! Seguite la diretta su http://t.co/5gE4Wy6JR9 #TsunamiTour

Dear Bersani, if you really want the Democratic Party to finally win the elections, resign and leave your seat to Matteo Renzi.

As the Centre-Right coalition appears to lead in the Senate, supporters of Centre-Left Democratic coalition took to twitter to voice their discontent with its leader Pier Luigi Bersani. Tweeps called for the return of Matteo Renzi, who lost his party's primary against Bersani.

--Cosima Ungaro

","short_text":"

Caro #Bersani, se vuoi veramente che il #PD finalmente riesca a vincere le elezioni, dimettiti e cedi il posto a @Read More"},{"id":"47","created":"02/25/2013 2:33 PM EST","title":"Monti Speaking At 3:30 PM EST","tweet_link":"47_monti-speaking-at-330-pm-est","entry_text":"

\"daveweigel\"

@ daveweigel :

RT @zerohedge: ITALY PREMIER MONTI TO SPEAK AT 9:30 PM CENTRAL EUROPEAN TIME

","short_text":"\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n@ daveweigel :\r\nRT @zerohedge: ITALY PREMIER MONTI TO SPEAK AT 9:30 PM CENTRAL EURO...Read More"},{"id":"46","created":"02/25/2013 2:32 PM EST","title":"Berlusconi Or Bersani Need 5-Star","tweet_link":"46_berlusconi-or-bersani-need-5star","entry_text":"

\"NaomiOhReally\"

@ NaomiOhReally :

Latest projection of Senate means either Berlusconi or Bersani would need 5-Star to reach majority of 158 seats #italyreuters #italyvote

","short_text":"\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n@ NaomiOhReally :\r\nLatest projection of Senate means either Berlusconi or Bersani would need 5-Star to reach majority of ...Read More"},{"id":"45","created":"02/25/2013 2:27 PM EST","title":"Why Italy Could Fall For Berlusconi Again","tweet_link":"45_why-italy-could-fall-for-berlusconi-again","entry_text":"

\"bruce_arthur\"

@ bruce_arthur :

This @DougSaunders piece on Italy in 2006 explains why it could fall for Berlusconi again, and is so brilliant: fast http://t.co/UCQ5NxeDFd

","short_text":"\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n@ bruce_arthur :\r\nThis @DougSaunders piece on Italy in 2006 explains why it c...Read More"},{"id":"44","created":"02/25/2013 2:07 PM EST","title":"HuffPost Live: Italy Goes To The Polls","tweet_link":"44_huffpost-live-italy-goes-to-the-polls","entry_text":"

A tycoon, a professor, a politician, a comedian, a magistrate and a journalist face off to run an economically troubled country. Welcome to Italy's 2013 election. Joining the conversation are Nicholas Sabloff, Huffington Post Executive International Editor and Davide Tramballi.

","short_text":"

A tycoon, a professor, a politician, a comedian, a magistrate and a journalist face off to run an economically troubled country. Welcome to Italy's 2013 election. Joining the conversation are Nicholas Sabloff, Huffington Post Executive International Ed...Read More"},{"id":"43","created":"02/25/2013 2:03 PM EST","title":"Could Berlusconi Come Back?","tweet_link":"43_could-berlusconi-come-back","entry_text":"

\"berlusconi\"

Former Italian Prime Minister casted his ballot at a polling station on Sunday.

","short_text":"


\nFormer Italian Prime Minister casted his ballot at a polling station on Sunday.

\n

"},{"id":"42","created":"02/25/2013 1:41 PM EST","title":"Forecasts Predict Political Gridlock","tweet_link":"42_forecasts-predict-political-gridlock","entry_text":"

Reuters reports:

Conflicting early forecasts of the result of Italy's election on Monday raised the spectre of deadlock in parliament that could paralyse a new government and re-ignite the euro zone crisis.

Officials from both centre and left warned that such gridlock could make Italy ungovernable and force new elections.

Opinion polls have long pointed to the centre-left of Pier Luigi Bersani winning the lower house, but projections from RAI state television showed Silvio Berlusconi's centre right in front in the Senate - which has equal lawmaking power - but unable to form a majority.

Read the full story here.

","short_text":"

Reuters reports:

Conflicting early forecasts of the result of Italy's election on Monday raised the spectre of deadlock in parliament that could paralyse a new government and re-ignite the euro zone crisis.

Officials from both ...Read More"},{"id":"41","created":"02/25/2013 12:57 PM EST","title":"Latest Figures For Chamber Of Deputies","tweet_link":"41_latest-figures-for-chamber-of-deputies","entry_text":"

Previous predictions which hinted Berlusconi's coalition would win the Chamber of Deputies are now contradicted by the news results indicating the centre-left would get 33,52% of the vote and the centre-right 25,09%, according to HuffPost Italy.

--Cosima Ungaro

","short_text":"

Previous predictions which hinted Berlusconi's coalition would win the Chamber of Deputies are now contradicted by the news results indicating the centre-left would get 33,52% of the vote and the centre-right 25,09%, according to Read More"},{"id":"40","created":"02/25/2013 12:51 PM EST","title":"5-Star Is Kingmaker","tweet_link":"40_5star-is-kingmaker","entry_text":"

\"NaomiOhReally\"

@ NaomiOhReally :

Rai poll: centre-left plus Monti would still have fewer seats than Berlusconi's centre-right. 5-Star is kingmaker #italyreuters #italyvote

","short_text":"\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n@ NaomiOhReally :\r\nRai poll: centre-left plus Monti would still have fewer seats than Berlusconi's centre-right. 5-Star i...Read More"},{"id":"39","created":"02/25/2013 12:45 PM EST","title":"Senate Deadlock?","tweet_link":"39_senate-deadlock","entry_text":"

HuffPost Italy reveals that the latests prediction issued by Rai/Piepoli shows deadlock in the Senate, with both the Centre-Right and Centre-Left coalition winning 30,7% of the vote.

--Cosima Ungaro

","short_text":"

HuffPost Italy reveals that the latests prediction issued by Rai/Piepoli shows deadlock in the Senate, with b...Read More"},{"id":"38","created":"02/25/2013 12:38 PM EST","title":"Map Shows Falling Voter Turnout Across Italy","tweet_link":"38_map-shows-falling-voter-turnout-across-italy","entry_text":"

The polling website Youtrend.it has published a wonderful interactive map showing the change in voter turnout in Italy between the 2013 general election and previous electoral cycles. The greater the decrease in voter turnout, the darker red a province appears on the map. So far, all of Italy is in the red, with the greatest decreases appearing to be concentrated in Lombardy, Campania, Calabria and Sicily.

--Carlo Davis

","short_text":"

The polling website Youtrend.it has published a wonderful interactive map showing the change in voter turnout in Italy between the 2013 general election and ...Read More"},{"id":"37","created":"02/25/2013 12:24 PM EST","title":"Rome On Monday","tweet_link":"37_rome-on-monday","entry_text":"

\"italy\"

A torn electoral poster shows center-right coalition leader Silvio Berlusconi in Rome, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

","short_text":"


\nA torn electoral poster shows center-right coalition leader Silvio Berlusconi in Rome, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

"},{"id":"36","created":"02/25/2013 12:19 PM EST","title":"No Word From Monti's Allies","tweet_link":"36_no-word-from-montis-allies","entry_text":"

Over two hours and a half after the closing of the polls, no declarations have been heard from Gianfranco Fini and Pierferdinando Casini, both allied to Mario Monti, reports HuffPost Italy.

--Cosima Ungaro

","short_text":"

Over two hours and a half after the closing of the polls, no declarations have been heard from Gianfranco Fini and Pierferdinando Casini, both allied to Mario Monti, reports Read More"},{"id":"35","created":"02/25/2013 12:18 PM EST","title":"'All Thanks To Berlusconi'","tweet_link":"35_all-thanks-to-berlusconi","entry_text":"

Sandro Bondi, Berlusconi's longtime loyal devotee praises the Cavaliere: \"The extraordinary result predicted for the centre-right coalition is exclusively due to Silvio Berlusconi, the architect of this memorable endeavor,\" according to HuffPost Italy.

--Cosima Ungaro

","short_text":"

Sandro Bondi, Berlusconi's longtime loyal devotee praises the Cavaliere: \"The extraordinary result predicted for the centre-right coalition is exclusively due to Silvio Berlusconi, the architect of this memorable endeavor,\" according to Read More"},{"id":"34","created":"02/25/2013 12:17 PM EST","title":"Palatine Hill","tweet_link":"34_palatine-hill","entry_text":"

\"italy\"

A man walks past electoral posters as the Palatine hill is seen in background, in Rome, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

","short_text":"


\nA man walks past electoral posters as the Palatine hill is seen in background, in Rome, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
\n

"},{"id":"33","created":"02/25/2013 12:13 PM EST","title":"Interior Ministry Publishes Latest Results","tweet_link":"33_interior-ministry-publishes-latest-results","entry_text":"

Follow the latest results on the website of Italy's Ministry of the Interior.

","short_text":"

Follow the latest results on the website of Italy's Ministry of the Interior.

"},{"id":"32","created":"02/25/2013 12:11 PM EST","title":"If Berlusconi Wins, Italy Has A Serious Problem","tweet_link":"32_if-berlusconi-wins-italy-has-a-serious-problem","entry_text":"

Stefano Fassina of the Democratic Party told reporters that if Berlusconi's People of Freedom party and the Northern League win, Italy has a \"serious problem,\" according to HuffPost Italy.

--Cosima Ungaro

","short_text":"

Stefano Fassina of the Democratic Party told reporters that if Berlusconi's People of Freedom party and the Northern League win, Italy has a \"serious problem,\" according to Read More"},{"id":"31","created":"02/25/2013 12:10 PM EST","title":"Grillo Ahead In Sicily","tweet_link":"31_grillo-ahead-in-sicily","entry_text":"

According to Piepoli polls for Rai, Italian comedian Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement is ahead in Sicily with 31,2% of the vote, reports HuffPost Italy.

--Cosima Ungaro

","short_text":"

According to Piepoli polls for Rai, Italian comedian Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement is ahead in Sicily with 31,2% of the vote, reports Read More"},{"id":"30","created":"02/25/2013 11:59 AM EST","title":"Italian Shares And Bonds Lose On Monday","tweet_link":"30_italian-shares-and-bonds-lose-on-monday","entry_text":"

Reuters reports that Italian shares and bonds lost on Monday after new election results predictions showed a lead for the Centre-Right coalition of Silvio Berlusconi. Earlier estimations had predicted a win for the Centre-Left coalition.

\"I was bowled over by the magnitude of the turn around. It all seems a bit excessive to me and so I think we should wait,\" a Milan fund manager said after a buying run immediately after polls showed the left ahead in both houses had been reversed.

\"It's clear that from a foreign investor point of view they're very concerned about political instability and forming a government that can push through pro-growth policies in Italy and in Europe,\" the fund manager said.

\"It's an emotive reaction.\"

Read the full story here.

--Eline Gordts

","short_text":"

Reuters reports that Italian shares and bonds lost on Monday after new election results predictions showed a lead for the Centre-Right coalition of Silvio Berlusconi. Earlier estimations had predicted a win for the Centre-Left coalition.

Read More"},{"id":"29","created":"02/25/2013 11:52 AM EST","title":"Berlusconi Ahead In The Chamber Of Deputies","tweet_link":"29_berlusconi-ahead-in-the-chamber-of-deputies","entry_text":"

According to the Guardian, the first projections from the Chamber of Deputies are showing the centre-right coalition in the lead.

--Cosima Ungaro

","short_text":"

According to the Guardian, the first projections from the Chamber of Deputies are showing the centre-right coalition in the lead.

Read More"},{"id":"28","created":"02/25/2013 11:51 AM EST","title":"Milan's Mayor Voices Concerns","tweet_link":"28_milans-mayor-voices-concerns","entry_text":"

\"I was smiling a half hour ago, but now not anymore. \"These are worrying figures for the country, they make it impossible to have a stable government, that will bring reforms,\" said the mayor of Milan, Giuliano Pisapia, according to HuffPost Italy. Pisapia belongs to the Centre-Left coalition.

--Cosima Ungaro

","short_text":"

\"I was smiling a half hour ago, but now not anymore. \"These are worrying figures for the country, they make it impossible to have a stable government, that will bring reforms,\" said the mayor of Milan, Giuliano Pisapia, according to Read More"},{"id":"27","created":"02/25/2013 11:48 AM EST","title":"'Grillo Created A Brand Of Politics All Of His Own'","tweet_link":"27_grillo-created-a-brand-of-politics-all-of-his-own","entry_text":"

\"Voice of protest for some, populist demagogue for others, comedian Beppe Grillo has shaken Italian politics with his anti-establishment Five Star Movement.\"

Check out the BBC's profile of comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo.

--Eline Gordts

","short_text":"

\"Voice of protest for some, populist demagogue for others, comedian Beppe Grillo has shaken Italian politics with his anti-establishment Five Star Movement.\"

Check out the...Read More"},{"id":"26","created":"02/25/2013 11:43 AM EST","title":"Counting The Ballots","tweet_link":"26_counting-the-ballots","entry_text":"

\"italy\"

Ballots are counted at a polling station in Rome, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

","short_text":"


\nBallots are counted at a polling station in Rome, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
\n

"},{"id":"25","created":"02/25/2013 11:37 AM EST","title":"HuffPost Live Discusses Election","tweet_link":"25_huffpost-live-discusses-election","entry_text":"

HuffPost Live discusses the Italian election with our executive international editor Nicholas Sabloff.

","short_text":"

HuffPost Live discusses the Italian election with our executive international editor Nicholas Sabloff.

"},{"id":"24","created":"02/25/2013 11:32 AM EST","title":"75,2% of Italians Voted","tweet_link":"24_752-of-italians-voted","entry_text":"

\"The percentage of voters, now that we have very few sections missing is 75,16%. This number is almost definitive,\" said Anna Maria Cancellieri, interior minister to journalists, according to HuffPost Italy.

--Cosima Ungaro

","short_text":"

\"The percentage of voters, now that we have very few sections missing is 75,16%. This number is almost definitive,\" said Anna Maria Cancellieri, interior minister to journalists, according to Read More"},{"id":"23","created":"02/25/2013 11:30 AM EST","title":"The Latest Projections","tweet_link":"23_the-latest-projections","entry_text":"

Reuters summarizes the latest projections:

ROME, Feb 25 (Reuters) - The centre-right coalition led by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was leading in the race for the Italian Senate, according to updated projections from television stations after vote counting began on Monday.

Polls fom La 7, SkyTG24 and state television RAI put the coalition between Berlusconi's People of Freedom party and the pro-devolution Northern League ahead in the overall national vote count.

The projections from La 7 also put the coalition ahead in the key regions of Lombardy, Sicily and Campania.

The upper house is elected on a region-by-region basis, meaning the result will be decided by individual results rather than an overall national vote.

Read more from Reuters here.

--Eline Gordts

","short_text":"

Reuters summarizes the latest projections:

ROME, Feb 25 (Reuters) - The centre-right coalition led by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was leading in the race for the Italian Senate, according to updated projections from televi...Read More"},{"id":"22","created":"02/25/2013 11:20 AM EST","title":"Third Sky Projection Confirms Berlusconi's Advantage","tweet_link":"22_third-sky-projection-confirms-berlusconis-advantage","entry_text":"

Third Sky projection for the Senate confirms Berlusconi’s coalition advantage:

Center-right (Pdl Lega) 31,9%

Center-left (Pd Sel) 28,7%,

Movimento 5 Stelle 24,9%

Monti per l’Italia 8,4%,

Rivoluzione civile 1,9%

--Giulia Belardelli

","short_text":"

Third Sky projection for the Senate confirms Berlusconi’s coalition advantage:

Center-right (Pdl Lega...Read More"},{"id":"21","created":"02/25/2013 11:18 AM EST","title":"Lucia Annunziata On Beppe Grillo","tweet_link":"21_lucia-annunziata-on-beppe-grillo","entry_text":"

Lucia Annunziata, Editorial Director of HuffPost Italy writes on Beppe Grillo's Party:

The Five Star movement started by Beppe Grillo gathers the disappointment fostered by the failure of our politics, it’s the organized spearhead of the common acknowledgment our system has failed. Grillo’s party is the interpreter of this failure, and pretends to also be its healer. Its proposals for radical change in the political/institutional organization of our country, are entirely acceptable. And its head so far has demonstrated its commitment in this regard.

Other aspects of the Five Star Movement are less clear. I don’t quite understand, for example, their proposal for a way out of the crisis, I don’t know who the representatives of the party are, or who they want to form an alliance with, or which working method they will adopt. The two candidates elected so far, Pizzarotti and Cancelleri, seem very serious to me. I’ll therefore wait and see.

Read full story in Italian here.

--Cosima Ungaro

","short_text":"

Lucia Annunziata, Editorial Director of HuffPost Italy writes on Beppe Grillo's Party:

The Five Star movement started by Beppe Grillo gathers the disappointment fostered by ...Read More"},{"id":"20","created":"02/25/2013 11:15 AM EST","title":"'If Berlusconi Wins The Senate, The Parliament Will Be Ungovernable'","tweet_link":"20_if-berlusconi-wins-the-senate-the-parliament-will-be-ungovernable","entry_text":"

According to HuffPost Italy, the deputy leader of Bersani's Democratic party, Enrico Letta, said after hearing the projections predicting Berlusconi's vantage in the Senate: \"If things are this way, the next parliament will be ungovernable. A new electoral law will be passed straight away and we'll go back to the polls.\"

--Cosima Ungaro

","short_text":"

According to HuffPost Italy, the deputy leader of Bersani's Democratic party, Enrico Letta, said after hearin...Read More"},{"id":"19","created":"02/25/2013 10:58 AM EST","title":"New Figures Emerge For The Senate","tweet_link":"19_new-figures-emerge-for-the-senate","entry_text":"

La Stampa and Rai have just updated their latest figures for the Senate:

La Stampa:

Centre-right coalition: 31.7%

Centre-left coalition: 29%

Five Star Movement: 25.1%

Centrist coalition: 8.5%

Rai:

Centre-right coalition: 31.6%

Centre-left coalition: 29.4%

Five Star Movement: 24.9%

Centrist coalition: 9.2%

--Cosima Ungaro

","short_text":"

La Stampa and Rai have just updated their latest figures for the Senate:

Read More"},{"id":"18","created":"02/25/2013 10:55 AM EST","title":"New Counts Predict Berlusconi's Victory In The Senate","tweet_link":"18_new-counts-predict-berlusconis-victory-in-the-senate","entry_text":"

According to the Guardian, the first projections of the result based on the actual count are contradicting the exit polls. They now predict Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right alliance ahead of the centre-left in the Senate by 31% to 29.5%. Earlier, two exit polls had shown Pier Lugi Bersani's centre-left coalition ahead in both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. A party needs a majority in both in order to govern.

-- Cosima Ungaro

","short_text":"

According to the Guardian, the first projections of the result based on the actual count are contradicting the exit polls. They now predic...Read More"},{"id":"17","created":"02/25/2013 10:50 AM EST","title":"One In Five Votes For Comedian?","tweet_link":"17_one-in-five-votes-for-comedian","entry_text":"

\"BBCGavinHewitt\"

@ BBCGavinHewitt :

If these instant polls in Italy are accurate, it means one in five voters cast their vote for a comedian!

","short_text":"\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n@ BBCGavinHewitt :\r\nIf these instant polls in Italy are accurate, it means one in five voters cast their vote for a com...Read More"},{"id":"16","created":"02/25/2013 10:46 AM EST","title":"Results Remains Highly Uncertain","tweet_link":"16_results-remains-highly-uncertain","entry_text":"

\"annamasera\"

@ annamasera :

RESULTS ARE UNCERTAIN, FORECASTS ARE IN CONTRAST #italyvote Piepoli: “At the Senate Grillo is first party with 25% Center Right has 31,6%...

","short_text":"\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n@ annamasera :\r\nRESULTS ARE UNCERTAIN, FORECASTS ARE IN CONTRAST #italyvote Piepoli: “At the Senate Grillo is first party wit...Read More"},{"id":"15","created":"02/25/2013 10:42 AM EST","title":"Instant Poll Results","tweet_link":"15_instant-poll-results","entry_text":"

\"instantpollrai\"

According to a new poll by RAI, the center-right coalition is ahead for the Senate with 31%.

--Giulia Belardelli

","short_text":"


\nAccording to a new poll by RAI, the center-right coalition is ahead for the Senate with 31%.
\n

--Giulia Belardelli

"},{"id":"14","created":"02/25/2013 10:40 AM EST","title":"Krugman On Italy's Austerity Policies","tweet_link":"14_krugman-on-italys-austerity-policies","entry_text":"

Paul Krugman reflects in the NYTimes on Italy's austerity policies and current Prime Minster Mario Monti's election results.

Krugman writes:

For Mr. Monti was, in effect, the proconsul installed by Germany to enforce fiscal austerity on an already ailing economy; willingness to pursue austerity without limit is what defines respectability in European policy circles. This would be fine if austerity policies actually worked — but they don’t. And far from seeming either mature or realistic, the advocates of austerity are sounding increasingly petulant and delusional.

Read the full story on the NYTimes.

--Eline Gordts

","short_text":"

Paul Krugman reflects in the NYTimes on Italy's austerity policies and current Prime Minster Mario Monti's election results.

Read More"},{"id":"13","created":"02/25/2013 10:33 AM EST","title":"Will The Election Need To Be Repeated?","tweet_link":"13_will-the-election-need-to-be-repeated","entry_text":"

\"RobertMackey\"

@ RobertMackey :

Gray smoke. RT @electionista: Italy #elezioni2013 - PD's Letta says if results confirm projections, then election will need to be repeated.

","short_text":"\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n@ RobertMackey :\r\nGray smoke. RT @electionista: Italy #elezioni2013 - PD's L...Read More"},{"id":"12","created":"02/25/2013 10:22 AM EST","title":"Instant Poll: Absolute Equality In Lombardy","tweet_link":"12_instant-poll-absolute-equality-in-lombardy","entry_text":"

HuffPost Italy reports that an instant poll by Rai indicates that sixteen regions go to the center-left, two to the center-right and absolute equality in Lombardy.

--Giulia Belardelli

","short_text":"

HuffPost Italy reports that an instant poll by Ra...Read More"},{"id":"11","created":"02/25/2013 10:15 AM EST","title":"Interactive Map Shows Election Results","tweet_link":"11_interactive-map-shows-election-results","entry_text":"

Check out this great interactive map of the election results by Umberto Marengo, a PhD researcher at Cambridge University and co-founder of YouTrend/Quorum, an Italian start-up specialising in opinion polls. (via The Guardian)

--Eline Gordts

","short_text":"

Check out this great interactive map of the election results by Umberto Marengo, a PhD researcher at Cambridge Un...Read More"},{"id":"10","created":"02/25/2013 10:09 AM EST","title":"Berlusconi At The Polls","tweet_link":"10_berlusconi-at-the-polls","entry_text":"

\"italy

Former Premier Silvio Berlusconi casts his ballot in Milan, Italy, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

","short_text":"


\nFormer Premier Silvio Berlusconi casts his ballot in Milan, Italy, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

"},{"id":"9","created":"02/25/2013 10:07 AM EST","title":"The Latest Exit Polls","tweet_link":"9_the-latest-exit-polls","entry_text":"

Business Insider breaks down the latest exit polls.

Sky News Poll, Chamber results:

Bersani: 34.5 percent

Berlusconi: 29 percent

Grillo: 19 percent

Monti: 9.5 percent

RAI poll, Senate results

Bersani: 36-38 percent

Berlusconi: 30-32 percent

Read more here.

","short_text":"

Business Insider breaks down the latest exit polls.

Sky News Poll, Chamber results:

Bersani: 34.5 percent
\nBerlusconi: 29 percent
\nGrillo: 19 percent
\nMonti: 9.5 percent

RAI poll, Senate results

Bersa...Read More"},{"id":"7","created":"02/25/2013 9:58 AM EST","title":"First Projections At 4PM (10AM EST)","tweet_link":"7_first-projections-at-4pm-10am-est","entry_text":"

\"annamasera\"

@ annamasera :

Be ready: at 4 pm the first projections #Italyvote

","short_text":"\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n@ annamasera :\r\nBe ready: at 4 pm the first projections #Italyvote\r\n"},{"id":"6","created":"02/25/2013 9:58 AM EST","title":"Grillo's Team Will Follow Results On Live Stream","tweet_link":"6_grillos-team-will-follow-results-on-live-stream","entry_text":"

\"beppe_grillo\"

@ beppe_grillo :

Tra poco Piero Ricca in diretta su La Cosa: http://t.co/mo5aEHH8Zj http://t.co/lU77zZsptY

","short_text":"\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n@ beppe_grillo :\r\nTra poco Piero Ricca in diretta su La Cosa: http://t.co/mo5aEHH8Zj h...Read More"},{"id":"5","created":"02/25/2013 9:54 AM EST","title":"'Interesting How Poorly Monti Fared'","tweet_link":"5_interesting-how-poorly-monti-fared","entry_text":"

\"NaomiOhReally\"

@ NaomiOhReally :

\"Interesting how poorly Monti fared...only way Bersani can get workable majority in the senate is with Monti\" -Prof Erik Jones #italyreuters

","short_text":"\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n@ NaomiOhReally :\r\n\"Interesting how poorly Monti fared...only way Bersani can get workable majority in the senate is with...Read More"},{"id":"4","created":"02/25/2013 9:52 AM EST","title":"Grillo Casts His Vote","tweet_link":"4_grillo-casts-his-vote","entry_text":"

\"grillo\"

Comic-turned-politician Beppe Grillo, center, is photographed as he arrives at his polling station to cast his vote, in Genoa, Italy, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Fabio Palli, Lapresse)

","short_text":"


\nComic-turned-politician Beppe Grillo, center, is photographed as he arrives at his polling station to cast his vote, in Genoa, Italy, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Fabio Palli, Lapresse)

"},{"id":"3","created":"02/25/2013 9:46 AM EST","title":"Exit Polls: Centre-Left Leads, Grillo Takes Third Place","tweet_link":"3_exit-polls-centreleft-leads-grillo-takes-third-place","entry_text":"

Reuters reports that centre left parties are currently 5-6 percentage points ahead of the centre right.

Reuters writes:

A poll for Sky television published after voting ended at 1400 GMT (9 a.m ET), showed the anti-establishment protest movement of Beppe Grillo taking third place.

It showed the centre left ahead by 5.5 points in the lower house and by six points in the Senate although the result there will depend on key battleground regions. In the most important, Lombardy, Sky said the centre left was tied with Berlusconi.

Sky had the centre left of Pier Luigi Bersani on 34.5 percent, Berlusconi's centre right on 29 percent, Grillo on 19 percent and Monti slumping to 9.5 percent after a lackluster centrist campaign that deeply disappointed his backers among foreign governments and investors.

A phone poll for RAI state television showed a similar line-up with the centre left six points ahead of Berlusconi in the lower house.

Read the full story from Reuters here.

--Eline Gordts

","short_text":"

Reuters reports that centre left parties are currently 5-6 percentage points ahead of the centre right.

Reuters writes:

A poll for Sky television published after voting ended at 1400 GMT (9 a.m ET), showed the anti-establishmen...Read More"},{"id":"2","created":"02/25/2013 9:42 AM EST","title":"How Will Beppe Grillo Fare?","tweet_link":"2_how-will-beppe-grillo-fare","entry_text":"

According to Jamie Bartlett, pollsters may have a hard time predicting how the comedian and his populist party will score.

Bartlett blogs on HuffPost:

Grillo is awkward. A relative newcomer to formal politics, he is a comedian who launches funny tirades at other candidates (he calls Berlusconi 'psycho-dwarf'), he refuses to speak to the Italian media, and despite being the leader of the M5S party, won't actually be standing for election himself. Ordinarily this would probably mean Grillo's support is overestimated by the polls. Yet normal rules don't apply. Grillo has, by an enormous margin, the largest social media following in Italy - in fact, in Europe.

Read the full blog here.

--Eline Gordts

","short_text":"

According to Jamie Bartlett, pollsters may have a hard time predicting how the comedian and his populist party will score.

Read More"},{"id":"1","created":"02/25/2013 9:37 AM EST","title":"Centre Left Leads In Exit Polls","tweet_link":"1_centre-left-leads-in-exit-polls","entry_text":"

\"Reuters\"

@ Reuters :

Centre left leads in Italy election: polls http://t.co/6j0PmxM3Kt

","short_text":"\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n@ Reuters :\r\nCentre left leads in Italy election: polls http://t.co/6j0PmxM3Kt\r\nRead More"}]
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