Berlusconi would win repeat elections in Italy

Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right coalition would win if the current deadlock forces new elections in Italy, but would fail to get enough votes for an overall majority in parliament, polls showed on Friday.

A poll by the SWG Institute gave Berlusconi's coalition 32.4 percent of the vote, compared to Pier Luigi Bersani's centre-left forces at 30.0 percent.

The anti-establishment Five Star Movement would get 24.0 percent.

The poll, based on 1,500 respondents and with a margin of error of 2.9 percent, indicated that support for the centre-left and the Five Star Movement has ebbed since February 24-25 elections while backing for Berlusconi has risen.

Another poll by the Tecne Institute for news channel Sky TG 24 gave the centre-right 33.3 percent and the centre-left 31.4 percent.

The Tecne poll showed that Berlusconi's coalition would fall short of a majority in the Senate, the same problem that the centre-left faces at the moment after winning in February but only by a razor-thin margin.

Berlusconi has urged arch-rival Bersani either to agree to a grand coalition between their two political forces or for new elections to be called.

Bersani has so far ruled out a deal, which would be deeply unpopular among leftists but is supported by some within his own party.

In an interview published on Friday, Berlusconi said he could support a presidential candidate from the left in voting in parliament that will start next week, but only on condition of a cross-party agreement.