It could have been the peak of an already illustrious political career: closing a gap that seemed unbridgeable and winning the elections.
Berlusconi probably could have done it, but for the first time another ‘istrione’, maverick comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo, crossed his path, getting the vote of one elector in four.
We will never know how many of Mr Grillo’s votes have been stolen from Berlusconi, but for sure they would have been enough.
In fact, Mr Berlusconi lost control of the Chamber of Deputies for just a handful of votes. His party even asked the Ministry of the Interior for a recount.
The Cavaliere was an outstanding campaigner, as always, but he was unlucky.
Was Italy lucky instead ? It’s too soon to tell. By Italian Constitution, it’s now up to aged President Giorgio Napolitano to decide whether a Government can be formed or the Parliament must be dissolved.