Berlusconi out, Prodi in, (Berlusconi in)…

An other election, another change of government… The demise of 69 year old Berlusconi would appear to signal the end of an era. Hardly the old man of Italian politics, he has none the less promised to sail off to Tahiti if he lost.

Update: carlos blancos was right. Currently too close to call, but odds currently shifting towards Berlusconi – hold that ticket for Tahiti…For a PM who owns an extraordinary proportion of the Italian media, his few media bungles call into question the extent of it really is the media that calls the shots in any political contest:

After gradually edging closer to the opposition in the polls, the centre-right lost momentum. On March 12, Mr Berlusconi had a toxic television encounter with Lucia Annunziata, a leftwing interviewer, and stormed out of the studio in protest at her aggressive attitude.

Two days later, Mr Berlusconi was widely adjudged to have lost the first of two televised debates with Mr Prodi. The premier looked ill at ease, overran his allocated time for answering questions and frittered away his concluding remarks on a complaint about the debate’s format.

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  • J Kelly

    what about durkan out espie in

    http://dailyireland.televisual.co.uk/

  • Brian Boru

    I would despair of a coalition involving the Italian Communist party dragging Italy out of its mess. But who knows look at New Labour.

  • Brian Boru

    I agree that there probably are some Castle Catholics in the SDLP. Remember the council votes where some of them abstained or voted against.

  • mark

    I hope none of the Slugger’s team are have problems finding links to the SDLP story. There are two on Daily Ireland, one in the BT and a further one on Espie’s site.

  • carlos blancos

    i’d take what the guardian says with a pinch of salt, and I especially liked the by-line ‘agencies’.

    italian exit polls are notoriously inaccurate. i hope prodi wins, but this posting is premature.

  • mickhall

    I hope the next time we see Mr Berlusconi it is in court, perhaps that is why he offered to sail away. If the exit polls are correct the international political stage looks like an increasingly cold place for Mr Blair and the Thief in Chief, we can only hope someone gets some backbone and the two of them do not get the chance to take us all into yet another unnecessary war in the middle east.

    Interesting Times

  • qubol

    hey carlos – there are now 2 polls predicting a Prodi win. I really hope Berlusconi goes for Italys sake – that said though, you’re always guaranteed a story with him, doubt we’ll have much craic out of Prodi.

    Brian Boru:I would despair of a coalition involving the Italian Communist party dragging Italy out of its mess
    I read a story on the BBC about Italian business throwing their wait behind the Prodi Alliance, communists and all.

  • Keith M

    BBC now calling Berlusconi winning the upper house and in with a strong chance in the lower. “Surely this man is the son of God”. (You probably need to have followed the campaign to understand the quite).

  • Mick Fealty

    Aha… a last minute reverse in headlines…

  • Pete Baker

    As I keep saying, Mick.. never trust polls.. 🙂

  • Keith M

    RAI now called Berlusconi winning both houses. As the Forza Italia’s slogan said “lasciamola perdere”.

    Following the victories of Bush, Blair, Howard etc., this sounds like another potential win for one of the leaders of the coalition of the willing. If I was Bertie, I’d start waving at those planes in Shannon 😉

  • Canadian

    Our Conservative party just got elected not too long ago too…

    I’m sure we’ll be joining the big boys in the future.

  • Brian Boru

    Famous last words lol.

  • Davey Marmaduke SnakeEyes Sanderson

    And from a man who called the opposition ‘testicles’
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/story.jsp?story=685676

  • Valenciano

    I’m a little confused by the link as under the headline

    “Prodi wins Italy’s election”

    it has

    “The result of Italy’s general election remained too close to call tonight after projections showed that the prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, could yet retain control of both houses of parliament”

    which is a bit like having a headline saying ‘Liverpool to win cup final’ at halftime when the score is 1-1!

  • Mick Fealty

    84% turnout. BBC talking about a ‘technocrat’ government to negotiate legislation through parliament, if it comes down to a split houses situation.

  • slug

    84% turnout eh? Why is that so high?

  • Pete Baker

    Newsnight just announced the current predictions based on actual voting from 71% of constituencies..

    Berlusconi expected to be ahead [in the lower house, I think] by 0.1%…

  • Brian Boru

    “84% turnout eh? Why is that so high?”

    Well the poll was held over 2 days that likely has something to do with it.

  • The Devil

    What da fuck has the Italian election got to do with the price of pasta

  • The Devil

    Anyway the Catholic lost cos a Prodi is claiming victory

  • Young Fogey

    Good old Italians – they change the electoral system to force themselves to produce a clear result and they end up with a split decision anyway.

    I hope the capital L Liberal Left have a good look at themselves. Establishment leftism can’t be sold with air miles in democratic, prosperous societies. When it tries to sell itself, even clowns like Bush, Berlusconi and Chirac can beat it.

  • Young Fogey

    84% turnout eh? Why is that so high?

    Short answer: compulsory voting.

    Long answer: the penalties for not voting in Italy are so mild and so rarely enforced that it’s an encouragement rather than a compulsion. 84% turnout would have been nothing exceptional in many European countries until the 1990s decline in election turnout, itself a result of a decline in ideological competition.

    All British General Elections between 1922 and 1997 had turnouts between 71% and 84%. 1992 managed a 78% turnout so the decline in turnout in Britain really is a recent phenomenon.

    The same pattern holds in most established democracies – the USA is, as so often, the exception. However, in contrast to just about every other established democracy (whether Europe, Canada, Australia/New Zealand or the more stable bits of Latin America) elections in the USA have become dramatically more ideologically polarised in the past 15 years.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Mick Fealty: “Aha… a last minute reverse in headlines… ”

    Dewey defeats Truman, anyone??

  • carlosblancos

    qubol,

    its 9.26 am and the guardian’ story from yesterday still seems a little premature wouldn’t you agree?

    only thing i’ll concede is that the ‘contestiamo’ pledge from forza italia (see http://www.corriere.it) doesn’t look good for berlo.

  • mickhall

    Centre-Left claim victory in Italy.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4897994.stm

    Top mafia boss arrested in italy

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4898930.stm

    Happy days.

    It seems Mr Prodi is not going to make the same cowardly mistake Al Gore did and allow Mr Berlusconi to steal victory via the courts.

    Regards to all.

  • Yokel

    So we got a Proddy in the heart of Catholic Europe, Italy. Paisley must be well pleased…..