Italian exit polls show PM Renzi losing constitutional reform referendum by clear margin - Reuters
I’m going to be watching for this too and posting updates.
Few votes have been counted yet but if the second category of exit polling confirms this landslide against Renzi before 12:00 AM GMT, then we will know that he has lost by a huge margin and will probably resign.
Yep, looks like Renzi is toast. He may lose by an ever greater margin than the original exit poll suggested:
**The first projection based on the actual vote count in Italy’s constitutional referendum shows prime minister Matteo Renzi may have has suffered an even heavier defeat, Reuters reports:
The projection by the Piepoli Institute/IPR for state broadcaster RAI estimated those voting ‘Yes’ to back the reform at 39-43 percent, compared with 57-61 percent for ‘No’. The projection pointed to an even wider defeat for Renzi than was suggested by three exit polls published immediately after polls closed.**
Nice one, Italy.
"My course is set for an uncharted sea.”
― Dante Alighieri
And Austria too?
They rejected a leader for president from a party founded by a Nazi. Surely that is a relief and a cause for celebration.
It is clear that Italians do not yet wish to reform their political system so as to facilitate stronger, durable governments. They prefer coalitions and have had something like 65 governments since the 1940s. To most body politics, that is tantamount to organised chaos but not in Italy.
They seem to dislike a powerful executive branch that can deliver on policy platforms. I think that anyone looking objectively from the outside would probably have to concede that Renzi’s constitutional reform has a lot going for it but that its just too hard a sell for the Italian public.
**Italy’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, is expected to address the nation shortly after suffering what looks like a heavy defeat in the constitutional referendum which he called – and after which he promised to resign if he lost.
Renzi has just tweeted to thank his supporters “anyway”, and to confirm he will be speaking live from Palazzo Chigi in a few minutes. “Long live Italy! PS I’m coming,” he concludes.**
The first big question is: will he resign as he promised?
We should likely find out within the hour.
**Renzi says he takes full responsibility for defeat
Addressing the nation live on television from the Palazzo Chigi, Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi says he “takes full responsibility” for the heavy referendum defeat.**
Renzi announces his resignation. Golly, the Italians don’t half get things done in a hurry! That was like ‘gone in sixty seconds’:
**Renzi confirms he will resign
Following what looks set to be a heavy defeat in his referendum on constitutional reforms, Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi confirms – as he promised – that he will resign.**
Here is the Telegraph’s live reporting.
Italian Prime Minister Renzi says he intends to resign after defeat in constitutional referendum. cnbc.com/2016/12/04/italian-exit-polls-show-prime-minister-matteo-renzi-losing-constitutional-reform-referendum-reuters.html
And, our buddies at the New York Times…
ROME — Italy plunged into political and economic uncertainty early Monday after voters rejected a constitutional reform upon which Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had staked his government. The result is certain to reverberate across a European Union already buffeted by political upheaval and anti-establishment anger.
Ostensibly the vote was about arcane changes to Italy’s Constitution that would have streamlined government. But opposition to the reforms came from the same anti-establishment sentiment — spiked with skepticism of globalization, open borders and the feasibility of an ever-closer European Union — that has transformed the politics of a growing list of European countries.
With any luck and a bit of prayer, this result in Italy hopefully can by osmosis ward off any excessive/enlightened activism by the Supreme Court against Article 50/Brexit in the UK. By which I mean our European brothers and sisters are getting fidgety on the ground in every quarter. How will the powers that be handle that. Today was a draw - Austria, Italy. I hope that these growing signs of unrest, dissatisfaction discourage judicial activism in favor of the EU in the UK; they will at any rate give some pause.
An anti establishment victory
The constitutional referendum in Italy was not about the EU at all. Pro-EU’ers voted on both sides.
People are merely speculating that this domestic upheaval, indirectly speaking, could lead to a strength in voting numbers for the Eurosceptic Five Star Movement. That’s a big if, since the “No” campaign includes Pro-Europeans and is a very eclectic coalition.
If the Five Star were to gain a majority in a future parliamentary election (another huge ‘if’), they would like to call a referendum on Eurozone membership for Italy (note, not EU membership itself).
Italy is not the UK. I think its very unlikely that Italians would want to leave the Euro currency and revert back to the ‘lira’.
So this speculation relies on no solid foundations - only projections about possible futures determined by a huge series of “ifs” - (1) if support for the Five Star grows (2) if they manage (unlikely) to gain a majority in next year’s elections (far more likely that if they do ever get into government, another big if, it will be a coalition and so they will fail to have the capacity to carry through on any referendum pledge) (3) if they then hold a referendum on Eurozone (not EU) membership of the single currency and (4) if Italians decide to back this, which would be enormously complicated for a country which already has a banking crisis and political unrest.
So, we cannot in point of fact read anything as to the future from this domestic defeat for Renzi over his proposed constitutional reforms.
In Austria you had a different set-up: a Pro-EU presidential candidate running up against a Eurosceptic far right candidate from a party originally founded by a Nazi. And Eurosceptic lost, despite claiming closer to the referendum that he actually supports the EU but would simply call an Oexit referendum to leave if any further push for integration was going to happen in the future. Even on that conditional basis, he couldn’t pull through because voters suspected he was Eurosceptic at heart.
So in Austria you had a situation where voters actually made a decision based upon a candidate’s views on the EU. It was actually about the EU, in part.
In Italy, you had a purely domestic decision over internal constitutional reform. This could have indirect ramifications for the wider EU, but not necessarily.
I suppose that is one ‘take’ on the situation. The other is that the Italians did not wish to cede even more of their autonomy to the EU and to the non-elected bureaucrats in Brussels.
From what I gathered, you weren’t too fond of the British voting for Brexit, either.
I have read quite the contrary opinion regarding what it was that Renzi was seeking from the people and that pretty much amounted to turning over to the EU even more power by consolidating it in the hands of the pro-EU ruling party that would make it even more difficult for Italians to get back their autonomy in the long term.
You are the first person I’ve read that claims there will be no repercussions with regard to the EU resulting from this referendum.
No I wasn’t, as a Scot 62% of my countrymen voted to Remain in the EU as did 48% of the British electorate. So we had a majority for the EU in Scotland.
That, however, does not render me incapable of recognising the truth that this Italian constitutional referendum was as stated on the tin an Italian constitutional referendum, not anything directly to do with the EU - obvious given that Pro-EU’ers voted on either side of the dispute - that is, partly along with the Eurosceptic Five Star and Northern League on the “No” side.
Italy has a history of coalition governments and frequent transfers of power. Renzi attempted to change that by strengthening the executive and staked his career on it. He went down on his own sword ‘Hamlet’-style. Simple.
Tell that to the Euro Market in its current plunge. Or Marine Le Pen. I actually agree with you that Europe is much more proEU than Britain, the EU and/or the Eurozone, which is precisely why this result in Italy, and the fact that we are even talking about possibilities like the Five Star Movement or Le Pen emerging into prominence is so surreal. The reality is that the EU is increasingly on the defense from within in ways no one could have imagined just a year ago. We are watching it being dismantled by history.
It is increasingly clear that the EU bureaucrats have an agenda for the people of Europe which doesn’t align completely with what the people themselves see as best for them.
Although Europeans don’t appear to have the natural aversion and skepticism with regard to globalism that people in other parts of the world do, some of the “decisions” made by bureaucrats in Brussels over the past two years have created a great deal of apprehension. And rightly so, IMHO.
The Eurozone stock markets will obviously react to any potential political unrest in a major European economy that uses the single currency. That’s to be expected.
But it doesn’t change the fact that the referendum in Italy had nothing directly to do with the EU or voters’ opinions of it.
I actually agree with you that Europe is much more proEU than Britain, the EU and/or the Eurozone, which is precisely why this result in Italy, and the fact that we are even talking about possibilities like the Five Star Movement or Le Pen emerging into prominence is so surreal. The reality is that the EU is increasingly on the defense from within in ways no one could have imagined just a year ago. We are watching it being dismantled by history.
That is a speculative forecast, just like my own. None of us possesses a crystal ball. There is no concrete evidence based upon a referendum concerning a purely domestic issue that the EU is under threat, not least since another member state voting explicitly for candidates with platforms concerning the EU came up with a Pro-EU swing.
Italy has a history of political unrest. If the Five Star gain a majority in next year’s elections and go on to call a referendum, then you would have a basis for claiming that we are watching the Union being “dismantled” by history.
To extrapolate that conclusion from a referendum that had nothing to do with the EU simply because a Eurosceptic populist movement collaborating in a campaign with Pro-EU’ers backed the winning arguement on a domestic, constitutional issue is a very weak basis for doing so, IMHO.
I agree. The EU has overstepped its bounds, especially with respect to immigration/free movement issues. They have robbed nations of their sovereignty in terms of governing their borders by tying these demands to membership in the single market. A monopoly on power. Too many critical decisions in the hands of too few individuals, who have a uniform secular left social agenda as well. Well-intended, no doubt, but becoming a bureaucratic nightmare. The EU has to be dislodged for Europe to move forward, individual nations intact. I hope we can do this without the emergence of right wing extremism or trade wars. The EU is not the only way to a single market, shared visas, etc. Merkel and the EU should start to back down a little bit on Brexit, free movement, etc. Show some flexibility.