ROME – The center-right coalition uniting former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi with other ultrarightist parties looks to have won Sunday’s general election in Italy with between 32-38 percent of the vote in the Senate and 28.5-36.5 percent in the Chamber of Deputies, according to an early exit poll released by the public RAI television channel.
The poll found that Berlusconi’s Forza Italia garnered between 13-16 percent of the seats in the Senate and between 12.5-15.5 percent of the seats in the Chamber of Deputies.
Its partner, the Northern League, also looks to have won between 13-16 percent of the seats in the Senate and 12.5-15.5 percent of the seats in the lower house, while the Brothers of Italy won between 4-6 percent of the Senate seats and 3.5-5.5 percent of the seats in the Chamber of Deputies.
And the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) received some 29-32 percent of the vote in the Senate and 29.5-32.5 percent of the vote in the Chamber of Deputies, the largest of any single party, with the group – founded in 2009 – getting support from people fed up with adverse economic conditions and corruption within the eurozone’s third largest economy.
Although the center-right may have secured as much as 36 percent of the vote, according to the early exit polling, this would be several percent shy of the 40 percent that political analysts have said is the minimum needed to command a legislative majority, according to Italy’s new electoral law. This situation might mean that the center-right must negotiate with M5S to form a coalition to be able to govern.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party (PD) of former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi seems to have lost the election after governing for the last five years, and it will be the third-largest political force, according to the early exit polling.
The PD, which heads a center-leftist coalition of several parties, garnered 29-32 percent of the Senate seats and 20-23 percent of those in the Chamber, according to the RAI poll.
Other exit polls by Mediaset, which is owned by Berlusconi, and by SkyTG24 obtained similar percentages.