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While PM Giuseppe Conte's gov't avoided being ousted in a vote of no confidence in the Senate last night, the lack of an overall majority in the upper chamber hints at difficulties further down the line for the gov't.
- In the event, 156 senators voted in favour of Conte's gov't with 140 against and crucially 16 abstaining. While this avoided a gov't defeat, the numbers fell short of the 161 senators required to hold an absolute majority in the chamber.
- As such, if the Conte gov't does not repair relations with former PM Matteo Renzi's Italia Viva party it will be at risk of losing votes. 16 IV senators voted to abstain last night, should they switch to voting against the gov't it could see the gov't defeated.
- The gov't cannot be assured of reaching 156 senators in future votes, with two of those coming from centre-right Forza Italia senators voting against party lines.