Tuesday

3rd May 2016

Focus

Italy mocks trashy EU election posters

Dodgy graphics, bad pictures, crass wordplay: Italians are no strangers to trashy election material. This year, as voters head to the polls on 25 May for local and European Parliament elections, candidates’ worst efforts are being flagged up by a team of young creatives hiding behind the collective name of Quink.

In early May, they set up a website and a Facebook page called "Santini di Merda" [Shit Election Flyers], collecting dozens of questionable examples, which have attracted thousands of followers and sarcastic comments. The collection is expanding daily thanks to readers' contributions.

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  • "I lost weight. Now it's Europe's turn," reads this poster. (Photo: Santinidimerda)

"We do not mean to offend anyone, but we can't guarantee to succeed on that front," one of Quink's members, who asked to remain anonymous, told EUobserver. "It's not like people can complain if public material from their campaign is made even more public by our website," he added.

Meanwhile, the last surveys were published Friday ahead of a two-week curfew on opinion polls, covering the last stretch of the campaign. They suggested that the ruling centre-left Democratic Party (PD) of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was poised to win the elections by a comfortable margin.

Basing itself on poll averages, Termometro Politico, a political website, predicted the PD would win 27 out of Italy's 73 European Parliament seats. The populist Five Star Movement (M5S) of comedian Beppe Grillo was poised to win 20, the conservative Forza Italia party of former premier Silvio Berlusconi 16, the New Centre Right (NCD) of interior minister Angelino Alfano five, and the anti-euro and anti-immigrant Northern League four.

Support for the PD ranged from 31 to 35 percent, while the M5S was on 22-26 percent and Forza Italia on 17-21 percent. The NCD and the Northern League were estimated at over 5 percent, while Brothers of Italy – another eurosceptic and nationalist movement – and the far-left Tsipras List were hovering close to the 4-percent threshold to win seats.

While turnout is expected at around 60 percent – a record low – a significant share of the voters were said to be undecided, casting uncertainty over predictions.

In last year's general elections, which resulted in a hung parliament, pollsters consistently overestimated support for the PD and underestimated it for the M5S and Forza Italia.

Like in previous election campaigns, polling trends can be tracked despite the official ban thanks to the Nota Politica website.

It publishes results of "clandestine horse races" where the invented names of competing jockeys and horses are wordplays on the real names of politicians and political parties.

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