Scandal hit premier, Silvio Berlusoni has scored a qualified success in Italy’s European ballot – his “People of Freedom” party leads the poll but looks like taking a smaller share of the vote than he wanted.
Projections give the centre-right coalition around 35 percent well below the roughly 40 percent forecast and down on last year’s general election triumph.
Meanwhile Berlusconi’s ally at national level, Umberto Bossi and his anti-immigration Northern League dramatically doubled their number of MEP seats from four to eight..
But the loser on the night looks like being the opposition Democratic party. Dario Franceschini is putting a brave face on his teams performance by saying the drop from 33 percent last time out to 26 percent was less than he feared.
But he failed to capitalise on the backlash other electorates have forced on their governing parties in these recession hit time.
By contrast anti corruption judge Antonio di Pietro scored his own small victory by doubling his IDV’s vote share to eight percent.