With one week to voting day, here’s what I think could happen (and matters):
- the centre-left will win a majority in the lower house by about 5 points
- Monti will get less than 15% of votes
- Grillo will get more than 15%
- The far-left seriously risks not hitting the 4% threshold required to enter parliament
- The centre-left is within touching distance of winning in Lombardy, and consequently having a majority in the senate too. Bersani’s coalition is on course to win 145-168 seats (majority is 158) - the range depends on Veneto, Sicily and Lombardy races.
- Two key factors: 1) if the far-left support does drop to 4% or less, this benefits the centre-left in key senate races 2) Will Grillo’s support in polls comes good on election day? If it does, the coalitions that don’t win a region will get less seats than polls were showing a few weeks ago (thinking Veneto and Sicily here). On the one hand this means that Bersani is less likely to need Monti’s support than he was a week ago, but on the other it means that if Bersani’s coalition doesn’t win in Lombardy, Veneto and Sicily, where the races are close, the centre-left will have less seats than polls were showing a week ago and Monti’s support to govern will be even more critical - I know that may sound contradictory, but as written previously, the races in these regions will fundamentally decide the election and shape of the next government. These three races are close, and the coalition that wins in these regions wins 55% of each of those regions’ seats, the ones that don’t win, divide the remaining 45% proportionately.
All the above is based on figures currently available. I’ll update next week if anything changes.