Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.
The Italian election will be held next Sunday September 25. All of both the Italian parliament’s houses will be up for election: 400 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 200 in the Senate. Governments need the confidence of both houses. First past the post (FPTP) will be used to elect 37% of both houses, with the remainder allocated by proportional representation.
Unfortunately, Italy imposes a 15-day blackout on polls before an election, so the last polls were released on September 9. In these final polls, the right coalition was in the mid to high 40s, the left coalition mostly in the high 20s, the Five Star Movement at 12-15% and a centrist alliance at 5-8%.
The right coalition is composed of the far-right Brothers of Italy, far-right League, conservative Forza Italia and a small party, while the left coalition includes the centre-left Democrats and three small parties. The Brothers and League will win the large majority of seats within any right coalition.
Unless there’s a large swing back to the left during the 15-day poll blackout, the 37% of overall seats that are elected by FPTP will give the right coalition a clear overall majority in both houses. Giorgia Meloni, the female leader of the Brothers, is likely to be Italy’s next PM.
Bolsonaro likely to lose in Brazil
The first round of the Brazilian presidential election is October 2. If nobody wins at least 50%, a runoff between the top two first round candidates will be held October 30. The major contenders are the far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro and the leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula), who was president from 2003 to 2010.
The last five Brazilian polls have had Lula leading Bolsonaro by six to 15 points in the first round. It still appears unlikely that Lula will win a first round majority owing to another left-wing candidate who has 7-9%. But if the contest goes to the October 30 runoff, the polls give Lula an eight to 17 point lead.
Could Bolsonaro do as Donald Trump did in the 2020 US election, and refuse to accept the result if he loses? In August he said he would respect the result as long as the voting is “clean and transparent”. The bigger Lula’s margin, the more likely Bolsonaro will be forced to accept the result.
Right wins Swedish election
The 349 members of Sweden’s parliament are elected by proportional representation with a 4% national threshold. At the September 11 election, the Social Democrats won 107 seats (up seven since 2018), but their allies performed worse than in 2018, with the Left on 24 seats (down four), the Centre 24 (down seven) and the Greens 18 (up two).
The far-right Swedish Democrats won 73 seats (up 11), and three other conservative parties all won fewer seats than in 2018: the Moderates 68 (down two), the Christian Democrats 19 (down three) and the Liberals 16 (down four).
Overall the right bloc won 176 seats (up two) and the left 173 (down two). The most likely outcome is a coalition headed by the Moderates with support from the Swedish Democrats. This ends eight years of governments led by the Social Democrats.
US: Democrats continue to advance in FiveThirtyEight forecasts
US midterm elections are on November 8. In the FiveThirtyEight Senate forecast, Democrats are now up to a 71% chance to retain; there has been steady movement to Democrats since mid-July, when Republicans had a 56% chance to win the Senate. Democrats have also gained more slowly in the House forecast, and are up to a 29% chance to retain.
Democrats now lead Republicans by 44.9-43.4 in the national vote for the House. But Joe Biden’s ratings have slid a little recently after a solid gain since late July; he’s currently at 53.0% disapprove, 43.0% approve (net -11.0). Nate Silver says we can’t predict which way any polling errors will fall; the polls could be overstating Democrats or Republicans.