Chart Of The Day: Italian Political Polls

Or why rumors of a triumphal Berlusconi (head of the PdL party) return to the Italian Prime Ministerial post are greatly exaggerated.

And while Mario Monti's reign is now in the past, even though a real new government will likely not take over for many months, and Berlusconi's contrarian position is quite clear, the man most likely set to replace Monti, the PD's Pier Luigi Bersani has made it clear he has every intention of continuing in his predecessor's steps. From the WSJ:

Pier Luigi Bersani, the center-left politician whom polls tip as Italy's next leader, pledged to uphold his country's economic commitments to Europe amid the debt crisis and not to dismantle key overhauls by the current government, if he is elected in a coming national vote.


"We will respect the very stringent commitments taken…and we will take them on as our own," Mr. Bersani said in an interview at a small hotel in his hometown in Italy's northern Emilia Romagna region over the weekend.


Mr. Bersani spoke hours before Prime Minister Mario Monti announced he would resign once Parliament approves the country's 2013 budget. The surprise decision means Italy is likely to hold elections as early as February, accelerating the departure of Mr. Monti's yearlong technocrat government earlier than expected and ushering in what promises to be a volatile two months of political jostling as Italy tries to return to democratic governance.

Yet while a Berlusconi government appears out of the question, what is the key risk as we explained over the weekend, is what concessions the PD will have to give in order to create a coalition government that will give it a majority vote. Because it is not the return of Silvio that is the biggest risk: it is the threat that Italy, like the US, will suddenly find itself in a gridlocked position in which it is unable to make any political decisions, until such time as the ECB chimes in.