Not a good day at the polls for Italy’s prime minister after centre-left rivals made significant gains in local elections.
Even on Silvio Berlusconi’s home patch of Milan, those celebrating were not from his camp as his centre-right bloc candidate was knocked into second place. It makes a run-off in roughly weeks time look like a certain win for Guiliano Pisapia.
Although the Italian leader remained his up-beat self its clear that corruption trials and sex scandals have taken their toll on his popularity.
In Turin, the centre-left’s Piero Fassino swept to power getting more than the crucial 50 per cent to ensure an outright win.
Only in Naples could the leader smile – despite the continuing rubbish crisis – Gianni Lettieri is out front although once again a run-off looks likely.
Final results fare out later today but even now Berlusconi’s political colleagues know where to point a finger of blame.