[MSS here: Thanks to RAC for the post below, and to all those out there who treated this and the previous post as open thread on these elections. There is a wealth of great information on Peru and Italy in the comments below.]
In Peru, as of this writing, ally of Hugo Chavez, Ollanta Humala (UPP) has secured first place, while former president AlÃ¡n GarcÃa (Apra) has narrowly overtaken Lourdes Flores (UN) for second as counting continues. (updated coverage here)
Meanwhile, Keiko Sofia Fujimori has won a seat in the assembly.
Italy Update: After some projections showing Berlusconi’s center-right coalition with a narrow lower-house plurality, Prodi and the center-left appear to have captured control of the lower house by an extremely narrow plurality. Under the new electoral system (on which, see Federico Ferrara’s recent comment), this will produce a 340 seats — 55% — for the left coalition.
Final results in the two-day election that ended Monday showed Romano Prodi’s center-left coalition winning control in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of parliament, with 49.8 percent of the vote compared to 49.7 percent for Berlusconi’s conservatives. The winning coalition is automatically awarded 55 percent of the seats, or 340 seats, according to a new electoral law.
For a time Monday projections had predicted center-right control of both houses:
[The polling company] Nexus said its projection based on 44 percent of the vote gave Berlusconi’s centre-right alliance a wafer-thin 49.9 percent to 49.6 percent edge over challenger Romano Prodi in the lower house.
Initial reports, however, showed a center-left lead in exit polls and narrowly in the count.
Prodi’s alliance was set to win between 50 and 54 percent of the vote in both the lower and upper houses of parliament, giving it a working majority in the two chambers, a poll by the Nexus research institute said.
In Hungary, the incumbent center-left coalition leads after the first round of voting.
Analysts say the advantage of the two ruling parties in the first election since Hungary joined the European Union in 2004 was slim and could disappear in the decisive second round.
See Lewis Baston’s coverage of Hungary here