Monday, February 25, 2013

Exit Polls: Center-left ahead in Italy

by Clifford F. Thies 

Exit polls conducted on behalf of two news organizations show the center-left to have finished first in the lower house (or, Chamber of Deputies), by something like 6 points over the center-right, 35 to 29 percent, where the party or coalition of parties that finishes first is awarded bonus seats sufficient for a majority of seats in that chamber. 

Results in the upper house (or, Senate), where bonus seats are awarded by region, are more problematic. The center-left appears to be ahead nationwide, but might wind up with less than a majority if the center-right finishes first in the north. 

The populist Five Star Movement of Beppe Grillo looks to finish a strong third, with 19 percent. 

The centrist bloc of Prime Minister Mario Monti looks to finish a distant fourth, with 10 percent. Europhiles hope for a result in which the center-left forms a bicameral ruling coalition with the center, so as to continue Monti's "austerity" budget (which emphasizes tax increases). But, this result requires: (A) that the center-left finishes first in the nationwide vote as far as the lower house is concerned but (B) nevertheless fails to achieve a majority in the upper house because it didn't finish first in some of the regions of the country; and (C) that the centrist bloc finishes with enough seats in the Senate to force itself onto the center-left. 

This is akin to bending the cue ball around the eight ball and then pocketing the target ball with a cushion shot. While possible, the "English" you put onto the cue ball makes the it difficult to control the trajectory of the cue ball coming off the cushion. As of right now, with the exit polls in hand, it looks like the cue ball has been bent around the eight ball, we will now see how the cue ball comes off the cushion.


Gary said...

It makes no difference. The nation is ruled by international Euro-Bankers.

John Morris said...

Mish's Global Economic Analysis blog has some later results.

Things seem to be far more complicated. Monti's group may not get, the 8% minimum to hold any seats. Grillo may have a stunning 27% of the vote.

Berlusconi may lose the popular vote but hold the Senate.

The final result is no party with real control.

John Morris said...

I don't follow this closely, but I think Berlusconi has shown some openness to a vote on exiting the EU recently. Grillo has that as a central plank of it's platform.

The odds seem much higher that something like this may come to a vote.

I agree at this point an actual exit is unlikely. A majority of Italians would like to stay in the EU- receive lots of 'loans" as long as there's no serious plan to pay them back.

The ball is in Germany's court to decide how long it wants to keep the charade going that these are loans and not gifts.

John Morris said...

There is also talk of needing another election to sort this out.

At this point anymore time extended seems to favor Grillo who is showing tremendous momentum. Grillo ending up as the single biggest party in a second election seems very real.

John Morris said...

As of 4PM eastern, the 5 star movement (Beppe Grillo) and Bersani's party, Partito Democratico both have 25.5% of the vote.

Grillo has no coalition partners, while Bersani has allied paties that ad up to over 29% of the vote.

5 Star is close to having the largest slice of the popular vote.

The wave of anger and revulsion at the status quo is probably a good thing.