Exit polls indicate Prodi set to beat Berlusconi in Italian election

Polls indicate between one and nine percent victory margin for center-left coalition.

Prodi 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
Prodi 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Two exit polls indicated Monday that challenger Romano Prodi's center-left coalition was set to defeat Premier Silvio Berlusconi's center-right coalition in parliamentary elections. Two Nexus polls, issued 45 minutes apart, indicated that Prodi's coalition had garnered between 50 and 54 percent of the vote in both the upper and lower chambers of parliament, while Berlusconi's coalition had between 45 and 49 percent. Both exit polls gave Prodi's coalition between 159 and 170 seats in the Senate, compared to 139 and 150 for Berlusconi's center-right alliance. The polls, which had a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points, did not give an immediate breakdown for seats in the lower Chamber of Deputies. Nexus will release projections for the Senate, stemming from the initial vote count, at 4:30 p.m. (1430 GMT), and for the lower house at 6:30 p.m. (1630 GMT) for the Chamber. The margin of error for the projections ranges from 3 percentage points for the first projection to 1 percentage point for the last.