Silvio Berlusconi won a confidence vote today, his first test in parliament following two recent stinging electoral defeats and demands by his key coalition partner for an end to Italy's involvement in the Libya military campaign. Berlusconi's forces won a vote on a development law 317-293 in the Chamber of Deputies, and now face a similar vote in the Senate.
His allies expected him to win, although a showdown over issues including Libya may only be delayed. Berlusconi's forces suffered electoral setbacks in local voting last month, and voters in a referendum last week overturned laws passed by his government to revive nuclear energy, privatize the water supply, and help him avoid prosecution. In addition, Berlusconi's Northern League allies have insisted that Italy end its participation in NATO's campaign in Libya. Berlusconi is due to address the Senate later today on the state of his government. (Read more Silvio Berlusconi stories.)