International press thrown curve ball with Italian elections
Projections conflict in tight race25 February, 17:57
According to a projection by public broadcaster Rai, ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right coalition was on course to win 31.3% of the Senate vote, compared to 30.1% for the centre left.
But a projection by Mediaset - the private broadcaster owned by media magnate Berlusconi - showed Pier Luigi Bersani's centre-left coalition ahead in the Senate race.
The projection, which contrasted with those of other networks, gave the centre left 35.95% of the votes for the Upper House, the centre right 24.98%, and the anti-establishment M5S 25.59%.
"The polls don't give a clear idea of whether the Democratic Party - which has long been expected to take the lead - will command the full backing it needs in both houses of parliament to form a stable government needed to steer Italy's ailing economy lest the country become a trouble spot for Europe again," the Wall Street Journal said.