Italy elections: Early results indicate deadlock

Italy seems to be headed for a deadlock after the early polls indicated that the Houses of Parliament seem to be divided between left and the right.

Updated: Feb 26, 2013, 00:53 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Rome: Italy seems to be headed for a deadlock after the early polls indicated that the Houses of Parliament seem to be divided between left and the right reportedly on Monday.

Pier Luigi Bersani`s centre left coalition is headed towards the lower House while Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right is likely to emerge victorious in the upper House, as per news agency report.

A political movement founded by comic-turned-political agitator Beppe Grillo has surprisingly emerged and is projected to take 19 per cent of the vote, while outgoing Premier Mario Monti`s centrist coalition has 9.5 per cent, as per reports.

The unfolding murky result raised the possibility of new elections in the coming months and bodes badly for the nation`s efforts to pass the tough reforms it needs to snuff out its economic crisis. After surging in the wake of exit polls, Milan`s main stock index slumped with first projections before closing up slightly.

The decisions Italy`s government makes over the next several months promise to have a deep impact on whether Europe can decisively stem its financial crisis. As the eurozone`s third-largest economy, its problems can rattle market confidence in the whole bloc and analysts have worried it could fall back into old spending habits.

Pier Luigi Bersani`s coalition — which has shown a pragmatic streak in supporting the tough economic reforms spearheaded by Monti — was leading in the lower house of Parliament, according to exit polls.

Bersani`s coalition has taken 35.5 percent of the vote for the lower house of parliament, ahead of the center-right coalition under Berlusconi with 29 percent, the polls indicated. The poll by Tecne has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

In the Senate, projections by the Piepoli Institute for RAI public TV showed Berlusconi`s coalition slightly ahead with 31 percent to Bersani`s 30 percent. Grillo`s movement had 24.6 percent and Monti`s centrist forces 9.4 percent. Sky`s Senate projections showed Berlusconi with a two-point lead over Bersani, and Grillo with 25 percent.

Bersani`s party would have to win both houses to form a stable government, and given the uncertainty of possible alliances, a clear picture of prospects for a new Italian government could take days. It is all but impossible that Bersani would team up in a "grand coalition" with his arch-enemy Berlusconi.

Most analysts believe Bersani would seek an alliance with center-right Monti to secure a stable government, assuming parties gathered under Monti`s centrist banner gain enough votes.