As a technocrat, Mr. Mario Monti was somehow popular even when his Government was not.
Now, as a politician, he’s being squeezed between a powerful left and a right revamped by Mr. Silvio Berlusconi’s comeback.
Mr. Monti perhaps made some mistakes, too. He announced his conversion to politics when the elections were only some months away, without having a political party or even a slate. He allied with the centrist Catholic parties, which remind many Italians of the old Christian Democratic Party, destroyed by corruption scandals no more than twenty years ago.
Whatever the causes, the results are visible in polls. According to one by Euromedia (Mr. Berlusconi’s pollster of choice), Mr. Monti’s slate will get only 6 per cent of the votes.
Moreover, some analysts think that Mr. Monti is just stealing his allies’ votes, potentially putting strain on their allegiance.