While polls indicated the center-left should win the lower house, projections based on early vote counts suggest a victory for media tycoon Berlusconi in the key region of Lombardy, which holds the key to controlling the upper house — according to Reuters.
State television RAI said Berlusconi's bloc was ahead with 31.6% in the Senate, with the center-left at 29.4%. Beppe Grillo's protest 5-Star-Movement was at 24.9%. The centrist party of technocrat Prime Minister Mario Monti stood at 9.2%.
"I was bowled over by the magnitude of the turnaround. It all seems a bit excessive to me and so I think we should wait," a Milan fund manager said after a buying run immediately after polls showed the left ahead in both houses had been reversed. "It's clear that from a foreign investor point of view they're very concerned about political instability and forming a government that can push through pro-growth policies in Italy and in Europe," he added.