Trieste

Grillo success not just a protest vote, says top pollster

'Centre left lost ground due to poor election campaign'

Grillo success not just a protest vote, says top pollster

Trieste, February 26 - A top pollster said Tuesday it was "misleading" to read the consensus garnered by Genoa comic Beppe Grillo's anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) in recent general elections simply as a protest vote as politicians struggled to come to terms with inconclusive and potentially paralysing results. The electorate of M5S, which claimed 25.55% of the votes for the House, more than any other individual party, and took a total of 108 seats across both chambers of parliament, has two layers, according to Roberto Weber, president of Trieste-based polling agency SWG. "The first, accounting for 10-12%, encompasses new democratic demands for territorial management and development, while the second is seriously intolerant of the running of the state and political parties," he said. The pollster put the success of M5S down to the fact that it was the only political formation calling for real change. "The question must still be asked why Italy has no green party or party for environmental sustainability: because Grillo taps into these issues," said Weber. However the SWG president added that the real election surprise concerned the loss taken by Pier Luigi Bersani's centre-left alliance, which looked to have a clear majority in the weeks leading up to the Sunday and Monday poll. The coalition just managed to win a majority in the House but came well short of the 158 seats needed to hold the Senate following the surge by Grillo and considerable gains by ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre right. "No-one could have predicted that it should lose so many votes, and it lost them to M5S in particular," said Weber. He described the centre left's election campaign as its worst ever, adding that the coalition paid for the radicalism of Berlusconi and Grillo. "It doesnt pay to be moderate," said Weber.

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