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Bersani Victory in Senate Cast in Doubt as Vote Counting Begins

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Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Pier Luigi Bersani’s potential Italian election victory, forecast in an initial poll as ballot boxes closed, was placed in doubt by a rival pollster as the Interior Ministry began counting votes.

Italian bonds pared gains after an IPR projection of partial results from the ministry suggested Bersani may have lost Senate races in Sicily and Campania to former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. A SkyTG24 Tecne poll earlier gave those two battleground regions to Bersani.

Italy’s pollsters are crunching data as it comes in from the ministry to project the winner in both houses of parliament in the four-way race. Berlusconi, a three-time premier, garnered 34 percent of the vote in Sicily, compared with 26.4 percent for Bersani, according to IPR. State-broadcaster RAI projected Berlusconi got 32 percent of votes cast for the Senate, compared with 29 percent for Bersani.

Italian 10-year bond yields fell 10 basis points to 4.34 percent after falling to as low as 4.17 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Frye in Rome at afrye@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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