The Balotelli effect: Silvio Berlusconi surges ahead in polls weeks before Italian general election
A blitz of TV appearances, populist sound bites and even the signing of star striker Mario Balotelli for his AC Milan football club appear to have helped ex-Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi surge in the polls, just three weeks ahead of a general election.
The mogul’s centre-right coalition is now within 5 percentage points of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), which many have confidently predicted will form the next government.
The PD fell by 1.6 per cent in the past week to 32.8 per cent. But Berlusconi’s center-right bloc is now at 27.8 per cent, up almost 1.3 points in the week, according to a SWG poll released on Wednesday.
Pundits say the PD may have been hit by the corruption scandal engulfing the Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank, which traditionally has strong links with the Italian left.
Mr Berlusconi today stepped up his rhetoric against Germany and the Euro. “Austerity in Europe has been imposed by Germany and led to 50 million unemployed or under-employed," he said.
The 76-year-old, who is appealing a tax fraud conviction he received in October, has also railed against the unpopular Imu property tax introduced by outgoing premier Mario Monti to help balance the books.
Most political observers maintained that the PD, led by Pierluigi Bersani, was still on course to win a majority in the lower house. But the centre-right’s advances made it likely that the PD would have to form an alliance with Mario Monti’s small centrist-grouping to prevent its legislation from being blocked by Berlusconi-supporters in the Senate.
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Giorgio Armani criticises the way some gay men dress saying 'a man has to be a man'
- 4 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
'Jihadi John': Isis executioner Mohammed Emwazi wanted to wage jihad in Somalia until his friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
Parma, Missouri: 80 per cent of town's police quit after first black mayor is elected
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...
£16000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of Ford's leading Parts Who...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to learn ...