WELL, FINALLY it's been a tie in Italy: while Prodi's Unione has very narrowly won the lower chamber, Berlusconi's Casa delle Libertà has won the Senate with an also small lead. Since both houses have the same weight in the legislative process, this can become a nightmare unless new elections are called, which is certainly a possibility. Or not: I'm hearing lots of people seeing the "shadow of Florida" with endless recounts and lawsuits, but this could well be like Germany after the elections last September ("grande coalizione", anyone?). I don't put too much hope in that, because seeing Prodi's "victory speech" last night, I don't think he's going to accept, like Schroeder did, to cede the prime minister chair to the leader of the most voted party, Berlusconi. So the most likely scenario seems to be that Italians will be heading to the polls again soon.
UPDATE. I made a mistake: Berlusconi's Forza Italia wasn't the most voted party in the lower chamber; it was L'Ulivo, in the center-left coalition led by Prodi. My mistake. Meanwhile, absentee ballots are being counted and the Senate race is red-hot: as of now, Prodi seems to be leading in popular vote but not in seats (just like in US with the electoral college, this can happen in Italy too according to their election laws). Anyway I won't update this until the results are 100% final; it makes no sense to follow it as if it was the final laps of a NASCAR race, or anything...
UPDATE II. Votes from Italians abroad have been counted; they have handed victory to Prodi's L'Unione. So he's finally won in both chambers, albeit with a very narrow margin:
CAMERALet the vote contests begin...
SENATO (in attesa di conferma ufficiale)
UPDATE III. The Italian government has made Prodi's victory official. The margin is so small that, well, let the vote contest begins (didn't I said that before?)
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