- Title: Italy's Renzi says referendum race still open despite unfavourable polls
- Date: 18th November 2016
- Summary: ROME, ITALY (NOVEMBER 18, 2016) (REUTERS) JOURNALISTS WAITING IN NEWS CONFERENCE ROOM ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER MATTEO RENZI ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE JOURNALIST ASKING QUESTIONS (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER, MATTEO RENZI, SAYING: ''All pollsters see the 'No' winning, the 'No' to the referendum. Trying to look on the bright side I could say that in the whole of 2016 there has not been a single political consultation where pollsters got it right, I hope they will not start making correct predictions this time, with the December 4th referendum. But this does not sound like a scientific explanation. But I consider the referendum race totally open, also in light of the very high number of undecided voters.'' CAMERA FILMING (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER, MATTEO RENZI, SAYING: ''I think this referendum can mark real change in Italy. This government was born to bring change and was formed to carry out institutional reforms. If Italian citizens reject these reforms we will have to reassess the political situation. But, if you ask my opinion, also risking looking naively optimistic, I continue to think that in the deep belly of this country there is a great desire for change and that it will all depend on how we run the last mile of this electoral campaign.'' JOURNALISTS LISTENING RENZI LEAVING
- Embargoed: 3rd December 2016 19:41
- Keywords: Italy Renzi polls constitutional reforms referendum Rome
- Location: ROME, ITALY
- City: ROME, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA00158Z46DJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Friday (November 18) that the outcome of an upcoming referendum is still "open", despite unfavourable polls.
Renzi's hopes of winning his referendum on constitutional reform are dwindling fast as previously undecided voters are choosing to oppose his plan, according to pollsters.
Renzi has promised to resign if he loses the Dec. 4 ballot over his proposal to reduce the role of the Senate and transfer powers to central government from the regions, increasing political uncertainty in the euro zone's third largest economy.
A welter of new polls were released on Friday, the last possible day because Italian law prohibits their publication in the 15 days before an election or referendum.
Of 42 polls by 15 different agencies since Oct. 21, every one has the 'No' camp ahead. And the margin is growing.
"Trying to look on the bright side I could say that in the whole of 2016 there has not been a single political consultation where pollsters got it right, I hope they will not start making correct predictions this time, with the December 4th referendum," Renzi joked to journalists in Rome on Friday.
''I consider the referendum race totally open also in light of the very high number of undecided voters,' he added.
Polls vary over the number of voters still undecided, with estimates ranging from around 13 percent to 26 percent. About 40-45 percent are expected to abstain.
The heads of several polling agencies contacted by Reuters said Donald Trump's surprise victory in the U.S. presidential election last week -- based on a wave of anti-establishment sentiment -- seemed to be a factor behind a widening lead for the 'No' camp.
Others had additional explanations, but all agreed that sentiment was hardening against Renzi, giving him a very tough task to turn around the polls in the next two weeks.
Pollsters said Trump's triumph appeared to have encouraged a feeling of rebellion against the established order which, in Italy, is represented by Renzi. But they also said that even without Trump the popular mood was moving against the premier.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None