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Italians Find Way Around Election Poll Ban With ‘Horse Races’

  • Election hopefuls given false names on blog to circumvent ban
  • Publishing of polls is barred two weeks ahead of March 4 vote
Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio BerlusconiPhotographer: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg

Italians have hit on a way around a ban on publishing polls in the two weeks before March 4 general elections: turn them into horse races.

Bloggers Andrea Mancia and Simone Bressan have begun writing up the results of fictitious “underground” races as a means of conveying the performance of various political parties and coalitions without falling foul of the law. Hence, avid politics watchers can check on favorites like Burlesque and his stable -- a not-so-thinly veiled reference to former Premier Silvio Berlusconi and his center-right coalition.