The Italian election of 2006: myths and realities

Newell, JL 2006, 'The Italian election of 2006: myths and realities' , West European Politics, 29 (4) , pp. 802-813.

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The general election of 9 and 10 April was one of the closest fought in Italy’s history. In the Chamber of Deputies, the centre-left Unione coalition emerged ahead of the centre-right Casa delle liberta` (House of Freedoms, Cdl) by just 24,755 votes (though owing to the electoral law, the majority in terms of seats was a comfortable 66). In the Senate the Unione won just two seats more than the Cdl (and was behind by 124,273 votes).1 However, what was most striking about the outcome was less the sheer narrowness of the centreleft’s victory than the fact that what polls had suggested would be a certain triumph was instead an outcome that was uncertain until almost the last of the votes had been counted.2 Explanations for the large divergence between poll predictions and votes cast will presumably be offered by polling experts in the weeks to come. Here I will pursue more modest goals, offering some reflections on the causes of the outcome itself and on its significance for the general thrust of Italian politics. In the following section I consider what it was that led to the introduction, in December 2005, of a new electoral law, combining majoritarian and proportional elements, and the impact of this law on the line-ups among which voters were called upon to choose. The two subsequent sections consider the campaign and the vote, the final section the election aftermath.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Memory, Text and Place
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for Democracy and Human Rights
Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: West European Politics
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0140-2382
Depositing User: Users 47901 not found.
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2011 10:45
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 15:31

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