Wild Italian election results
As the results of the Italian election continue to be counted, here is a summary of where things stand so far:
• Current projections suggest that against all predictions Silvio Berlusconi’s rightwing coalition will dominate the Italian Senate – but Pier Luigi Bersani’s leftwing grouping will end up the biggest in the Chamber of Deputies. The result for Italy seems likely to be gridlock – and perhaps further elections within months. It is thought impossible that Berlusconi and Bersani might team up in a grand coalition.
• Satirist Beppe Grillo has established his Five Star Movement as a political force to be reckoned with as his anti-establishment insurgents seem likely to end up the biggest single party in a political system usually made up of small parties working in coalition. Who the so-called Grillini will side with and who they will oppose is an open question.
• The markets seemed pleased earlier on when exit polls seemed to show Bersani on course for victory – but plummeted when news broke of Berlusconi’s likely victory in the Senate. The euro has fallen to a six-week low against the dollar. The Dow Jones fell 100 points. The interest paid on Italian 10-year bonds rose to 4.55% – although the Milan stock exchange did close 0.7% up. A Bersani-led coalition, perhaps one including current centrist PM Mario Monti, had been expected to keep up the EU’s austerity programme. Italy’s economic turmoil prompted the worst period of the eurozone crisis in 2011.
• The turnout of just under 75% was the lowest in national elections since the republic was formed after the second world war, with disgust with politicians as well as the bad weather cited as a cause.
Why don't we just let "the markets" decide the elections?
Cut out the middleman? I mean, it's not like the markets are rigged, or anything.