Centre left takes strong lead in Italy election
Rome, February 25, 2013
The centre left is strongly leading in Italy's election, raising the chances of a stable pro-reform government in the euro zone's third largest economy, according to two telephone polls published after voting ended.
The polls on Sky and Rai television after voting ended at 3 pm (1400 GMT/9 am ET) showed the centre left of Pier Luigi Bersani 5-6 points ahead of the centre right of former premier Silvio Berlusconi, with the anti-establishment movement of Genoese comedian Beppe Grillo taking third place.
The early polls cheered markets worried that the election could produce a weak, unstable government. Italian shares extended an earlier rally and bonds gained..
The poll for Sky television showed the centre left ahead by 5.5 points in the lower house and by six points in the Senate although the result there will depend on key battleground regions. In the most important, Lombardy, Sky said the centre left was tied with Berlusconi.
Sky had Bersani on 34.5 percent in the lower house, Berlusconi on 29 percent, Grillo on 19 percent and the centrist group of outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti slumping to 9.5 percent after a lacklustre campaign that deeply disappointed his backers among foreign governments and investors.
The RAI poll showed a similar line-up, with the centre left six points ahead of Berlusconi in the lower house. - Reuters