By a very slim margin Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement is the largest political party in Italy. Young voters and first-time voters are responsible for the surge (see comments from "AC" below).
Here are the official election results.
- GIUSEPPE PIERO GRILLO - MOVIMENTO 5 STELLE - 8,689.168 - 25.55%
- PIER LUIGI BERSANI - PARTITO DEMOCRATICO - 8,644,187 Votes - 25.42%
- SILVIO BERLUSCONI - IL POPOLO DELLA LIBERTA' - 7.332.667 Votes - 21.56%
- MARIO MONTI - SCELTA CIVICA CON MONTI PER L'ITALIA - 2,824,001 Votes - 8.30%
Bersani gets 55% of the Chamber seats because his center-left coalition barely beat Berlusconi's center-right coalition by a 29.54% to 29.18% margin otherwise Berlusconi would be courting Beppe Grillo (likely to no avail) to form a coalition.
- PIER LUIGI BERSANI - PARTITO DEMOCRATICO - 8,399,991 Votes - 27.43%
- GIUSEPPE PIERO GRILLO - MOVIMENTO 5 STELLE - 7,285,648 - 23.79%
- SILVIO BERLUSCONI - IL POPOLO DELLA LIBERTA' - 6,829,135 Votes - 22.30%
- MARIO MONTI - SCELTA CIVICA CON MONTI PER L'ITALIA - 2,797,451 Votes - 9.13%
The center-left received a higher percentage of votes than the center-right by a 31.63% to 30.72% margin. However, Senate seats are assigned based on regional totals and the result will be something like a 119 to 117 spit with the Five Star Movement picking up 54 Seats. A majority takes 158 so no coalition is likely.
Comments From "AC"
Reader "AC" who is from Italy but now lives in France writes ...
Final result are now available: M5S is the first political party at the Chamber of representatives, by a mere 46k voters. The Center-Left coalition scored first as coalition and therefore received a 55% majority of seats in the Chamber. There is no majority in the Senate and no possible majority even combining Bersani with Monti, so the result is a hung Parliament, exactly the forecast I made months ago.Flashback June 29, 2012: Time-Lapse Interactive Graph Shows Stunning Rise in Anti-Euro Sentiment in Italy led by Beppe Grillo Five Star Movement.
In the Senate M5S is not the first party and scored a little bit less (23.79%). The main differences in the voters between Chamber and Senate is that to vote for the Chamber you must be eighteen, for the Senate you need to be 25 years old. This means that youngest part of the population and first-time voters voted massively for M5S.
Flashback June 27, 2012: Reader from Italy Explains Why Early Elections Might Lead to "Deadlock"
Explaining Italian PoliticsExplaining the Surge for Grillo
Reader "AC" who is from Italy but now lives in France, has some observations and comments on Italian politics in response to Monti Threatens to Resign if No Eurobonds; Specter of Early Elections
Monti's days are indeed numbered because he will step down at the end of legislature (spring 2013) and he will not seek for renewal of his mandate in the new one. However, his term could be even shorter.
There could be early elections before the natural term. ... the most likely outcome of the next election in Italy is a deadlock ... the Senate will most likely be fragmented with no majority at all. To govern, you need majority on both.
- Youth unemployment of 27%
- People in general tired of austerity
- People in general fed up with corruption in the major political parties
There were early elections and the result was indeed a deadlock.
Thanks to "AC" I have been following Beppe Grillo since early 2012. Mainstream media mostly ignored Beppe Grillo until after the election, shocked by a result we predicted long ago.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock