Berlusconi punished in local elections

Silvio Berlusconi’s surprisingly poor showing in local elections in his Milan stronghold has exposed cracks in the ruling centre-right coalition, raising doubts over the prime minister’s future.

Berlusconi, who presented the local contest as a referendum on his government, is widely seen in Milan to have been punished by his core electorate following a bitter campaign that failed to dispel voter disillusionment after months of sex and corruption scandals and the government’s handling of a stagnant economy.

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