Italian centre-right expected to win general elections: Exit polls

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Rome, March 5 (IANS) The centre-right coalition uniting former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi with other ultra-rightist parties is expected to win the general elections in Italy, an exit poll released by the public RAI television channel claimed on Monday.

The poll found that Berlusconi’s Forza Italia garnered between 13-16 per cent of the seats in the Senate and between 12.5-15.5 per cent of the seats in the Chamber of Deputies, reports Efe news.

Its partner, the Northern League, also looks to have won between 13-16 per cent of the seats in the Senate and 12.5-15.5 per cent of the seats in the lower house, while the Brothers of Italy won between 4-6 per cent of the Senate seats and 3.5-5.5 per cent of the seats in the Chamber of Deputies.

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The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) received some 29-32 per cent of the vote in the Senate and 29.5-32.5 per cent 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 centre-right may have secured as much as 36 per cent of the vote, according to the early exit polling, this would be several percent shy of the 40 per cent that political analysts have said is the minimum needed to command a legislative majority.

This situation might mean that the centre-right must negotiate with M5S to form a coalition to be able to govern.

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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 centre-leftist coalition of several parties, garnered 29-32 per cent of the Senate seats and 20-23 per cent 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.

Some 46 million Italians were eligible to vote in the elections held on Sunday.

–IANS

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