Rome

Center-left still ahead in last SWG poll before Italian vote

Probable alliance with Monti needed to meet Senate quota

Center-left still ahead in last SWG poll before Italian vote

Rome, February 8 - The latest and last SWG poll to be released before a pre-election blackout on Friday showed that the centre-left coalition headed by Pier Luigi Bersani was still in the lead for the upcoming national elections in Italy, with 33.8%. Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right coalition, which has been gaining ground in recent weeks, remains steady at 27.8%. Though Bersani's Democratic Party (PD) is favoured to win the election, the poll suggested it will not have a working majority in parliament. According to SWG, Bersani's coalition will take only 146 senators with it, less than the required 158. This has led to speculation that Bersani could make a post-election pact with former European commissioner Monti, who took the helm of an emergency government in November 2011 and is standing for office on a reform platform backed by several centrist parties. The anti-establishment Five Star Movement (MS5) of comedian Beppe Grillo remains in a steady third place at 18.8% in Friday's poll. Monti's centrist coalition dropped almost one point (0.8%) with 13.4% of projected votes.

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