Thursday, April 07, 2005

On Recent Poll Numbers

In Italy, 13 of the 20 regions held elections last weekend. The right-wing coalition behind PM Berlusconi controlled eight of these, but lost all but two.

Now if we look at the detailed election results (courtesy of La Repubblica), the picture is somewhat less rosy: the united Left won over one region (Liguria) only narrowly, three (Piemont, Lazio, Puglia) with a minority of the votes cast (but the Right was split or composed of too many small parties in the present elections). In these four, victory was thanks to the communists entering the alliance (they were in it last time in 2000, and plan to stay in next's year's national elections, unlike in those of 2001 - something Lenin's Tomb lambasts them for).

While the Left dominates Umbria (63.4% for all leftist lists, including a record 9.2% for communists) and Toscana (a record 65.0% for all leftist lists, including 8.2% for the exceptionally outside-the-coalition communists), the lack of pull just in the more industrialised North and Center may highlight the Centre-Left's departure from its base.

If Prodi takes over from Berlusconi next year, his immediate job should be a new media law, undoing the laws introduced in the last four years for Berlusconi's protection, and setting up a task force to destroy his likely next competitor Fini (the slimeball post-fascist AN leader, who gained a statesmanlike aura as foreign minister). But given the precedents, fat chance.

In the USA, there is much hype about Bush's approval rating sinking to the lowest for a re-elected president two months after re-inauguration (Juan Cole is making much of it for example). But that low is still 43-49%, i.e. the solid base that votes like zombies isn't broken, and if you check Bush's favorability ratings, the further 10-15% who may be put off with something now and then but forget about it after a few weeks is also there. (In fact, Juan Cole refers to the before-last Gallup poll; the newest has Bush's approval up 3 points since.)

In Britain, Labour's lead melted away: in the last polls, Labour is in the range 34-37%, the Tories 33-39%, the nausea-empowered LibDems 19-21% (averages: 36.0%, 35.4%, 20.6%); the rest aren't tracked. Is there is hope that Labour lead would shrink down to the size of the remaining Old Left among the MPs? Phil Hunt @ Calabamat Journal not only hopes (he's LibDem) but argues otherwise: election districts favour Labour. Now, maybe Respect & co can do something about that.


At 2:57 AM, Anonymous Phil Hunt said...

To be precise, what I think will happen is a Labour overall majority. What I hope will happen is a Lib Dem overall majority, or if not that, a hung parliament.


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