ROME (Reuters) – A new, untried electoral system and a large number of undecided voters means Italy’s March 4 election is highly unpredictable and there are several alternative coalition governments that could emerge, pollsters say.
“To predict the next government you need a wizard, not a pollster,” said Antonio Noto, head of the IPR polling agency. “The only thing I am sure of is that the result won’t be what the polls suggest at the moment.”
Surveys - Weeks - Movement - Votes - Alliance
All surveys in the last six weeks say the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement will get the most votes, but because it has not formed an alliance with any other groups it has virtually no chance of winning a parliamentary majority on its own.
On the other hand a coalition of smaller, conservative parties led by Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (Go Italy!), outstrips 5-Star in both votes and probable seats, and may possibly win a working majority, pollsters say.
Tally - Votes - Dozens - Constituencies - Italy
Whether it does so depends not only on its overall tally of votes but also, crucially, on how it performs in dozens of marginal, first-past-the-post constituencies mainly in southern Italy.
Under the hybrid voting system approved by parliament in October, 64 percent of seats will be elected by proportional representation (PR). The rest will come from winner-take-all districts which did not exist under the previous PR system.
Election - Post - Seats - Federico - Benini
“The election will be decided in the first-past-the post seats,” said Federico Benini, head of the Winpoll agency.
Benini said the center-right will probably win a large majority of these seats in the industrial north of Italy where it is strongest, and will battle with 5-Star in the poorer south where the anti-system party has its heartland.
Ruling - Party - PD - Pollsters - Chance
The ruling Democratic Party (PD) lags both the center-right and 5-Star, and pollsters say it has little chance of winning the election either on its own or as part of a...
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