Based on current projections:
- neither the centre-left nor the centre-right will have a majority in the senate, both even with Monti’s support wouldn’t reach the required 158 seats.
- in the lower house, projections have the centre-left just ahead (and would therefore win 55% of seats). M5S will be the largest party.
The main trends the polls got wrong: [I’ve written a more detailed post on this here]
What happens now?
We need to wait for final results to see who has a majority in the lower house [update: the centre-left does by less than one point], but that aside, there won’t be a majority in the senate needed to form a government. Italy will need to return to the polls in the near future.
A few challenges though for the new parliament:
1) it will need to elect presidents for both chambers
2) will need to support a government (minority, coalition or caretaker)
3) will need to elect a new president (who can then technically call an election - Napolitano’s term is coming to an end and he cannot dissolve parliament) with a 2/3 (of parliament, lower house + senate, as a whole) majority - current President, Napolitano, may resign early to expedite this
4) will need to change the voting law
5) and will need to guarantee a minimum of stability in this interim period.
How the above will happen via ad hoc alliances and without a clear majority in the Senate, and the implications of all this, is anyone’s guess.
Update: following several questions/comments on Twitter - by ad hoc alliances I don’t mean a coalition. I don’t think that a coalition would be the preferred option by centre-left or centre-right. An alliance would be most probably a short-term pact to support a minority government on specific reforms and the presidential election.