UPDATE April 14, 2008 - 7:00 pm
From ANSA (2008-04-14 18:39):
Projections at the end of Italy's two-day general election on Monday predicted a victory for centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi in both the Senate and the House.The projections, made by research institute Ipsos for the Berlusconi-owned private TV network Mediaset on the basis of initial results, saw Berlusconi's alliance leading in the Senate by 47.1% to centre-left leader Walter Veltroni's 38.5%. Another projection made by Consortium for state broadcaster RAI predicted 164 seats in the 315-strong Senate going to Berlusconi's alliance and 139 to Veltroni's.Meanwhile, Ipsos' projection for the House predicted that Berlusconi's alliance would win by 46.5% to Veltroni's 37.7%. The centre right's winning margin was wider than initial exit polls had indicated, giving Berlusconi a decisive lead in the Senate where seats are awarded on a regional basis.
UPDATE April 14, 2008 - 11:55 pm
The 71-year-old media magnate defeated Walter Veltroni, the 52-year-old leader of the Democratic Party, by a considerable margin and has a large enough majority to rule Italy for a full five-year term. [...]
Flamboyant media magnate Silvio Berlusconi won a third term as Italy's premier on Monday, emerging from the country's two-day general election with a stronger-than-expected mandate to govern.Centre-left challenger Walter Veltroni conceded defeat in a phone call to 71-year-old Berlusconi after projections based on vote results showed the centre-right chief had gained a solid majority in both the House and the Senate.
According to the latest projections, only six parties will take up seats in the House this time round: the PDL; the PD; the Northern League, a populist, devolutionist party which is allied to Berlusconi; the tiny Sicilian-based party, Movement for Autonomy (MpA) which is also allied to Berlusconi; Veltroni ally Italy of Values (IDV) led by former anti-graft prosecutor Antonio Di Pietro; and the centrist, Catholic UDC, a former Berlusconi ally.
UPDATE April 15, 2008 - 1:15 am
From Corriere della Sera:
MILAN – The victory is decisive. Silvio Berlusconi’s coalition has won the general election by a margin that will give the People of Freedoms (PDL) with its allies of the Northern League and Movement for Autonomy (MPA) a comfortable majority in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. According to the latest projections, the Centre-right alliance has secured 46.7% of the votes cast for the Senate against 38.5% for the Democratic Party (PD) and Italy of Values (IDV). In the Chamber of Deputies, the margin is slightly narrower. Again according to forecasts, the People of Freedoms has won 45.9% of the vote for the Chamber with 38.9% going to the Democratic Party.
The gap is insurmountable and PD leader Walter Veltroni acknowledged defeat during the evening. “I phoned Mr Berlusconi”, said the PD leader”, “to convey my best wishes for his future work”. PDL and Northern League sources expressed satisfaction. Silvio Berlusconi phoned Gianfranco Fini and organised a dinner at his home in Arcore while the Northern League’s Umberto Bossi exulted: “We’re going strong. This surge was expected”. Early exit polls circulated just after voting ended were proved wrong after they indicated a gap of only two or three percentage points between the PDL-League-MPA and PD-IDV coalitions. Noteworthy results included the performance of the Northern League and the collapse of the Rainbow Left, which looks set to be excluded from parliament. The Rainbow Left candidate for the premiership, Fausto Bertinotti, has resigned from all party executive duties.
SENATE – In detail, the results show that the Centre-right finished about eight percentage points higher than the Veltroni-led coalition in the Senate elections, according to projections supplied by Consortium for RAI television with coverage of 96%. The PDL-League-MPA grouping has 46.7% with the PD-IDV on 38.5%, the PDL securing 39.8%, the Northern League 5.7%, the PD 33.5% and IDV 5%. Other results are: Rainbow Left 3.2%, the Christian Democrat UDC 5.6%, The Right (LD) 2.2% and the Socialist Party (PSI) 0.9%. After the results were announced, PSI secretary Enrico Boselli announced his resignation. Seats in the Senate are assigned on a region by region basis and Mr Berlusconi is well ahead in nine: Lombardy, Campania, Sicily, Veneto, Piedmont, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Abruzzo, Puglia and Calabria. Mr Veltroni is on top in six regions – Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, Marche, Molise and Basilicata – while three regions are still on a knife-edge: Lazio, Liguria and Sardinia. The size of the Senate majority will depend on which way these regions go. The PDL is also ahead in Trentino Alto Adige with 35.7% while the Südtiroler Volkspartei (SVP) and Together for Autonomies (IPA) lag behind on 27.7%. According to early results for the Senate, the Centre-right should take 164 seats against 139 for the PD and IDV.
CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES – According to Consortium’s projections, Mr Berlusconi’s victory in the Chamber of Deputies is equally unambiguous. The PDL-led coalition has won 45.9% of the vote for the Chamber with 38.9% going to the Democratic Party. The PDL itself has 38.3%, the Northern League has 6.4% and the MPA has 1.2%. The PD, on the other hand, has 33.8% and IDV has 5.1%. Among the minor parties, the UDC has 5.5%, the Rainbow Left has plummeted to 3.5%, LD has scraped 2.6% and the socialists have a bare 0.9%. If these figures are confirmed, the Rainbow Left will fail to clear the quorum hurdle in either Senate or Chamber of Deputies. Mr Berlusconi’s coalition would have 340 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and Mr Veltroni’s alliance would finish on 241.
SICILY – Early exit poll results were also available in Sicily, where electors have voted for the regional parliament. The Centre-left candidate, Anna Finocchiaro, has obtained between 36% and 40% of the poll whereas Raffaele Lombardo, for the Centre-right, has 49% to 53%. Other candidates have 9% to 13%.