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Italy general election: no clear winner

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Italy general election: no clear winner


Outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti has become the first candidate to speak publicly since vote counting began. Though the figures put him as a distant fourth with the possibility of polling less than 10 percent, he said he is happy with what his centrist group has achieved in just 50 days.

Ministry of Interior says turnout has never been so low – 75.1 percent for the Chamber of Deputies, 75.2 percent for the Senate.

Based on current projections, neither the centre-left nor the centre-right will have a majority in the Senate, even with Monti’s support neither would reach the required 158 seats. Monti risks staying under 10 percent and feader of the Civil Revolution Antonio Ingroia will not have enough votes to enter parliament.

5-Star Movement leader Beppe Grillo says he will make a live speech on his website:

Official results so far

Senate (82.5 percent of votes counted)
Bersani’s centre-left – 31.98 percent
Berlusconi’s centre-right – 30.3 percent
Grillo’s 5-Star Movement – 23.8 percent
Monti’s centrist coalition – 9.1 percent

Chamber of Deputies (54.5 percent of votes counted)
Bersani’s centre-left – 30.97 percent
Berlusconi’s centre-right – 27.69 percent
Grillo’s 5-Star Movement – 25.6 percent
Monti’s centrist coalition – 10.45 percent

Senate (73 percent of votes counted)
Bersani’s centre-left – 32.29
Berlusconi’s centre-right – 29.96
Grillo’s 5-Star Movement – 23.86
Monti’s centrist coalition – 9.2 percent

Chamber of Deputies (39.6 percent of votes counted)
Bersani’s centre-left – 31.62 percent
Berlusconi’s centre-right – 27.02 percent
Grillo’s 5-Star Movement – 25.6 percent
Monti’s centrist coalition – 10.4 percent

State television RAI’s first projection for Chamber of Deputies:

Bersani’s centre-left – 29.1 percent
Berlusconi’s centre-right – 28.6 percent
Grillo’s 5-Star Movement – 26.3 percent

Reuters: 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.

Here’s an interesting study on the meteoric rise of Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, the kind of people who voted for him and social media in politics carried out by Demos

Milan’s stock exchange closed up 0.73 percent. But the spread between the Italian 10-year bond and German 10-year bond has widened again to 280 points from narrowing earlier to 255.

Turnout for the lower house (not the regional voting for the Senate) is 75 percent – down on 81 percent in 2008.

Here’s a look at predictions of the breakdown of Senate seats from John Hooper at the Guardian:

Markets are reacting nervously due to the uncertainty. Milan’s stock exchange has gone up and down based on the prospects of a Bersani and Berlusconi win in the Senate respectively. Italy’s benchmark FTSE MIB equity index and the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index both lost earlier gains. Shares on Milan’s stock exchange have gone from being up 4 percent when a Bersani win looked likely to now being down 0.5 percent.

Berlusconi’s centre-right coalition is leading in the race for the Senate, according to updated projections from television stations in Italy. 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 centre-right ahead in the key regions of Lombardy, Sicily and Campania.

Earlier, it seemed as if the centre-right would win the Senate race in Campania, but now the tables have turned with the lastest figures showing the centre-right on 35.6 percent, ahead of the centre-left on 30 percent.

Another forecast – RAI gives the Senate to the centre-right with 31 percent and puts the centre-left behind on 29.5 percent.

The exit poll by Italian station SkyTG 24 gives senate victories in Sicily and Campania to the centre-left, but it’s too close to call in the crucial region of Lombardy. Whoever wins will have to control both the lower house and the Senate because they have equal power.

Markets continue to rally as exit polls are revealed – Bersani is a more popular prospect than Berlusconi. The spread between the Italian 10-year bond and German 10-year bond is down nine points to its lowest level since the beginning of February. The yield, or interest rate, on an Italian 10-year bond has dropped to 4.2 percent, from 4.45 percent last Friday night. It hit 7 percent when Berlusconi left office in November 2011.

Earlier in the day, hopes of a victory for a pro-reform Italian government helped fuel a stock market rally and support government bonds

The first exit polls give:

Bersani’s centre-left Democratic party 36-38 percent

Berlusconi’s centre-right 30-32 percent

Grillo’s 5-Star Movement 17-19 percent

Monti’s centrist group 7-9 percent

Italian station SkyTG 24 gives these exit poll results:

Bersani’s centre left on 34.5 percent in the lower house and and 37 percent in the Senate.

Berlusconi’s centre-right coalition with the Northern League on 29 percent in the lower house and 31 percent in the Senate.

Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement with 19 percent in the lower house and 16.5 percent in the Senate.

Monti’s centrist coalition with 9.5 percent in the lower house and 9 percent in the Senate.

The poll showed the Bersani’s centre-left and Berlusconi’s centre-right alliance neck and neck in the Senate race in the key region of Lombardy, with the centre-left ahead in the regions of Sicily and Campania and Berlusconi’s bloc well ahead in Veneto.

Voting is now over in Italy’s general election.

Major candidates

Pier Luigi Bersani
Pierluigi Bersani was born in Bettola, in the province of Piacenza, on September 29, 1951. After graduating in philosophy and a brief stint as a teacher, he devoted himself full-time to political activity.
Elected regional councillor in Emilia Romagna in the ranks of the Italian Communist Party in 1993, he was then President of the Region of Emilia-Romagna and re-elected in 1995. He resigned a year later to become a member of the Prodi government as Minister of Industry, and later Minister of Transport and Navigation. In 2001 he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies for the first time, and became a member of the National Secretariat of the DS and appointed Treasurer of the party.
After a brief period in the European Parliament, in 2006 he was appointed Minister of Economic Development in the second Prodi government and launched the controversial package on liberalisation. Among the protagonists of the birth of the Partito Democratico (Democratic Party), in December 2012 – at the party primary ballot – he was chosen by 60% of voters as candidate to run for prime minister.

Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi was born in Milan on September 29, 1936. He started his business career in construction, but soon expanded to the telecommunications sector (Mediaset), publishing (Mondadori), finance (Mediolanum) and sports (AC Milan) , setting up a business empire controlled by the family company, Fininvest.
In 1993, he launched the centre-right political movement ‘Forza Italia’, which merged in 2008 with Popolo della Libertà. He has been prime minister four times; his last tenure began in 2008 and ended in 2011 following international and domestic pressure on him to step down amid corruption trials, sex scandals, political divisions and indecision in the face of economic and financial crisis. This ushered in a period of technocratic government, led by Mario Monti.
According to American magazine Forbes, with a personal fortune estimated at 5.9 billion US dollars, in 2012 Berlusconi was the sixth richest man in Italy and 169th richest person in the world.
His centre-right People of Freedom party (PdL) have teamed up the the Northern League.

Mario Monti
Mario Monti was born in Varese on March 19, 1943. He graduated in 1965 in Economics at the Bocconi University of Milan. In 1969, at just 26 years old, he became a professor at the University of Trento; 16 years later he was appointed Professor of Economics at the Bocconi University in Milan, where he became director of the Institute of Economics. He spent nearly a decade (1995-2004) as a European Commissioner, responsible first for Internal Market, Services, Customs and Taxation then for Competition. In addition to numerous managerial positions in private companies (Fiat, General, BCI), Monti has held leading roles in several government and parliamentary committees. In 1999 he entered the centre-left government, and between 2005 and 2011 became International Advisor to Goldman Sachs. On November 9, 2011 he was appointed senator for life by President Giorgio Napolitano. On November 13, 2011 following the resignation of Silvio Berlusconi, he was tasked by Napolitano with forming a new government. He is representing a group of centrist politicians.

Beppe Grillo
Giuseppe Piero Grillo (Beppe Grillo) was born in Genoa on July 21, 1948. He is primarily known as a comedian, media personality and politician. During the 1980s, his biting and outspoken political satire earned him a ban from Rai television in 1986; he accused Bettino Craxi’s Socialists of being thieves. He continued to work in theatre and in the 90s organized debates on the banking system and the environment.
In 2005, he launched a blog which became one of the most popular in the country. In 2007 he proclaimed “V Day” (Vaffa day, or ‘Fuck You day’) in Bologna (Piazza Maggiore) as part of a campaign against the so-called “old italian politics”, an event that drew thousands of supporters. In 2009 he launched the “5 Star Movement “ in the Emerald Theatre (Teatro Smeraldo) in Milan, which ran in the administrative elections of 2010, 2011 and 2012, with ever more consistent results. A vote for him is being seen as a protest vote.

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