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Questo articolo è stato pubblicato il 08 febbraio 2013 alle ore 06:40.


The coalition formed by the PD and Sinistra Ecologia e Libertà (Sel) is still out in front. But its advantage over those in pursuit, namely the center-right formed by the Pdl, Lega Nord and local groups, is thinning. The gap between the two coalitions was almost 13% until 14 January and now it's down to almost 6.6%. This is the picture painted by the opinion poll commissioned by il Sole 24 Ore to the Ipsos Institute.

It is the last snapshot taken before tomorrow's deadline. The last 15 days of the run up to the election are crucial because many of those undecided will finally choose who they cast their votes for. During this period further updates won't be possible.
The center-left is ahead but that does not necessarily indicate who will have the majority in the next Parliament. The first coalition in the Camera, thanks to a premium, will be sitting on 340 seats, 25 more than the absolute majority (315 votes). In the Senate (the upper house of the Italian parliament) we have a completely different story, where the distribution of seats depends on the region. Having an absolute majority of votes at a national level does not in any case ensure control of the Senate. Here you need at least 158 seats.

According to the Tecnè poll carried out for SkyTg24 there are four regions in which the distance between the two major coalitions is less than 3%. Among them is Lombardy, the wealthiest and most populated. Victory in this region will determine the outcome of the election. In line with this survey if the center-left wins in Lombardy it could govern without having to form any other alliance. If instead the centre-right was to win, Bersani would need to ally himself with the coalition led by Mario Monti. The big problem for Bersani would be to lose these four regions.
The 24 and 25 February is still some way off and in the meantime many things could happen. The proposals of the parties are increasing in number and many voters will decide only at the last minute.

The percentage of those who claim they won't vote at all gets lower the closer we get to the election: according to Ipsos in April the level of non-voters was as high as 44.9%, although this now stands at 29.3%. The chances of the Cavaliere recovering depend on this trend, explains Roberto D'Alimonte, a commentator of this newspaper. «To have any hope of overtaking, Berlusconi must be able to convince more than 75% of the Italians to vote. He must also dramatically reduce the percentage of abstentions that today is falling but still remains at around 25-28 per percent. An outcome however that now seems unlikely».
Upsetting the forecasts could be another factor: Beppe Grillo. The leader of the Movimento 5 Stelle who presented himself as a champion against "established" parties. After going up and down he is now on the way up. According to Ipsos he stands at almost 16%, higher than Monti. Furthermore the fear of his opponents is that surveys are not able to reliably measure the real strength of this movement.
(Traduzione di James Tierney)