View Full Version : Biased Liberal Exit Polls
04-11-2006, 07:27 AM
... in Italy
The spectre of Florida hung over Italy late last night after a general election that all commentators and opinion polls as well as the official exit poll had given to the centre-left seemed to be heading for a dead heat. According to projections by pollsters, the centre-left and centre-right coalitions appeared close to taking 50 per cent each of both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate in the general election.
* Monday 3pm Polls close on the second day of voting. Two minutes later, an official exit poll said the centre-left would win 50 to 54 per cent of votes for the Chamber of Deputies. In the Senate, the centre-left was expected to have a majority of about 20 seats.
The centre-left, sure that the exit polls will be borne out in the real results, announces a party to start at 9pm in Piazza del Popolo.
Consternation on the left: the first projections of true results by polling organisation Nexus put the two sides neck and neck in the Senate.
From the Interior Ministry comes word that only a fraction of votes from Italian expatriates have been counted. These count for six crucial Senate seats. The Piazza del Popolo party is off.
04-11-2006, 07:29 AM
More like centre communists versus centre criminals. berlsusconi should be in jail.
wow, 84% turnout. Maybe the US should have 2 day elections.
In reality, it reminds me more of the party in Austin in 2000.
04-11-2006, 07:43 AM
Berlusconi Demands Recount
As Prodi Claims Election Victory
By GABRIEL KAHN
April 11, 2006 7:27 a.m.
ROME – In an election that came down to a handful of votes, Italy's center-left coalition leader Romano Prodi appeared to succeed in wresting power from Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's center-right government after five years in office, though his razor-thin margin will make it difficult to rule effectively and the final outcome could still be contested.
Though polls had closed on Monday at 3 p.m., it was not until Tuesday morning that final tallies confirmed a victory for Mr. Prodi in Parliament's lower house of 49.805% to 49.739% for Mr. Berlusconi. The difference was a mere 25,000 votes out of 38 million cast.
http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/images/HC-FX109_Prodi_20051026013209.gif In the 315-seat Senate, the situation was even more unpredictable. Though Mr. Berlusconi's coalition won 50.212% of the vote overall, a new electoral law which assigns senate seats on a regional basis left Mr. Prodi's coalition with 158 seats, to Mr. Berlusconi's 156. One independent senator in neither camp said he would support whoever emerges in the majority.
The senate vote also held a surprise: Most Italians living abroad, who elected their own representatives for the first time, stunned pundits by voting for the left instead of the right, as had been expected. Though tallies were not final, it appeared that Mr. Prodi had captured four of the six senate seats decided abroad. In addition, there are seven senators-for-life, the majority of whom are expected to support Mr. Prodi.
http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/images/HC-GH795_Berlus_20060406130821.gif The nail-biting finish doesn't bode well for Mr. Prodi. Mr. Berlusconi has yet to concede defeat, and his coalition has asked that some half million ballots that were declared invalid be reexamined. In a race so tight, it is statistically possible that a reexamination could flip the outcome again. That could extend the period of uncertainty and cloud the final outcome.
Even if the results are confirmed, Mr. Prodi's totals fall far short of conferring on him a clear mandate to govern – even within his own coalition. Oddly, the new electoral law which Mr. Berlusconi's government rushed through last December, and which many had thought would penalize Mr. Prodi's coalition, has ended up saving Mr. Prodi. Under the new law, the winner is automatically granted a majority of at least 54% of the seats in the lower house. This means that if Mr. Prodi's narrow lead is confirmed, he can count on controlling at least 340 out of 630 lower-house seats. That margin might be large enough for him to form a government, but too narrow to push through any of the economic restructuring measures which many economists believe the country badly needs.
While Mr. Prodi has declared victory and pledged to govern for a full five-year team, a cloud of doubt still hangs over the vote, and Italy's immediate future.
On Tuesday morning, Milan's Mibtel index was down 1.03% at midday trading. In addition, ratings agencies that had been closely following the outcome warned that Italy could face a downgrade on the rating of its sovereign debt if progress is not made on reining in rising public spending and reducing the country's deficit. Italy's deficit totaled 4.2% of gross domestic product last year, and the country had pledged to bring it back within the 3% ceiling mandates by the European monetary union.
The task of pulling that off could now fall to Mr. Prodi. However, early indications from rating agencies were not optimistic. Rating agency Fitch warned that a period of protracted political instability could delay urgent reforms and lead to a rating downgrade. Rating agency Standard & Poor's delivered a similar warning. A rating downgrade would make it more expensive for Italy to service its debt, which totals a high 106.4% of GDP.
04-11-2006, 07:49 AM
At least there aren't tanks rolling through the streets of Italy, I wonder if anyone will send thugs to intimidate the vote counters?
04-11-2006, 08:28 AM
Many years ago, I heard an interview in which the speaker claimed that Italy had the least stable government in Europe. He defined this as such, because they had changed governments more since WWII than any other European country. As I remember it, there was a new cabinet on an average of once a year or more. Having said that, he then claimed that if looked at another way, Italy had the most stable government in Europe, as these "changes" in government amounted to mostly shifting, as the Education minister switched to Commerce and the diplomatic head became the banking minister and so forth. In effect, they had a new cabinet each year, consisting of the same ministers in new jobs.
Anyone know if this is still the case?
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