Italy risks political impasse in cliffhanger election
ROME (AFP) - Italy was headed for an impasse with the centre-left barely ahead against Silvio Berlusconi in parliamentary elections being watched around Europe in which the real winner might be a new protest party led by a former comedian.
Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani and his leftist coalition were shown less than one percentage point ahead in incomplete results from voting for the lower house, the Chamber of Deputies.
And in the Senate, Mr Bersani was seen just one per cent ahead but projections based on early results showed Berlusconi's centre-right coalition would win the most seat with between 113 and 123 seats, although without an overall majority.
Bersani under these projections for the Senate is slated to win between 104 and 105 seats. Even if he allies with outgoing premier Mario Monti's centrist coalition it would also fall short of a majority, leading to an impasse.