Political change gains steam

Thanks to the majority premium – the electoral law in Italy gives extra seats to the list which won more votes – the centre left coalition led by PD’s secretary Pierluigi Bersani has a majority of 340 seats out of 630 in the Lower House, even if they got just something more of  10 million votes on almost 35 millions (or 75.19% of the electorate)  who went to the polls. The centre left won the House with a margin of only 125,000 votes over the centre-right coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi, which ended up with only 124 seats. The 5 Stars List, the protest movement led by comic turned politician Beppe Grillo, with almost 8,7 million votes or 25,5% was the first single party in the House with 54,000 more votes than the PD alone, but gained only 108 seats. The coalition led by the incumbent PM, the technocrat Mario Monti, got just some more of 10% and gained 45 seats.

In the Senate, where the over-25 electorate was more than 42 million, voters were 31.75 million or 75.11%. The majority premium here is counted on regional basis and no possible majority has surfaced for the time being. Opposite to the House, in the Senate the centre-left alliance gained almost  9,7 million votes, some 300,000 more than Berlusconi’s alliance, but obtained only 113 seats against 116 of the centre right. Both numbers fall well short of the absolute majority of  158 seats. Always in the Senate the Grillo’s movement gained 54 seats follone by Monti with 18 seats.

A possible way out from the deadlock is the creation of a national responsibility government supported by the PD, the Berlusconi party PDL and the Monti group. The Northern League and the left wing allies of Bersani would likely not take part to such an alliance while the three could convince Grillo to abstain in exchange for a package of institutional reforms palatable for his 5 Stars movement: cut of the MPs number, replace the current Senate with a Chamber of the Regions along with a constitutional reform allowing Regions to legislate on their own, a new electoral law. Should the national responsibility deal be the case, the major question point is who would be the PM of such a government.

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