Roger L. Simon

Too close to call...

We’ve heard that song before… very close to home… but the Italian election is being deemed too close to call with incumbent PM Silvio Berlusconi ahead in this latest poll by a whisker:

After a campaign dominated by economic issues, projections based on 98 percent of pollster Nexus’ sampling of votes cast gave the flamboyant billionaire’s center-right alliance 158 seats in the Senate compared to 151 for Prodi’s coalition. But with a margin of error of 1-3 percentage points and six seats chosen by Italians voting abroad unaccounted for, the Senate majority was far from assured.

For the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house, 89 percent of the voting sample gave Berlusconi’s alliance 49.8 to 49.7 percent for Prodi’s coalition. No seat breakdown was given.

In a way, the Berlusconi lead, even if it it doesn’t hold, is a surprise. To what could it be attributed?