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After Berlusconi

April's Italian election should see the defeat of Berlusconi and the return of a fragmented centre-left coalition. Below the surface there is a "silent yearning" for a modernised Christian Democracy, yet no new generation of leaders to embody it

By Erik Jones   April 2006

On the evidence of recent opinion polls and regional elections, it is likely that on 9th April Italian voters will oust Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right coalition and replace it with a centre-left coalition under the leadership of former Italian prime minister and European commission president Romano Prodi.

Then all hell will break loose. Should Berlusconi retire or be removed from politics, parties on all sides of the spectrum will begin a scramble for the 20 per cent or more of the electorate that is now attached to his Forza Italia. Voters from across the political spectrum are drawn to Berlusconi’s brand…

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