Nexus and the Olive Tree III
Both Berlusconi owned TV and Italian state TV relies on a firm called Nexus to conduct exit polls and project the outcome of elections based on partial vote counts. The public TV contract with Nexus was controversial, because NEXUS was perceived as being biased in favor of Berlusconi, who, as prime minister, was not supposed to meddle with public TV (as of course he did).
This suspcion was strengthened when NEXUS projected better results for Berlusconi in elections to the European Parliament than actually occured when the votes were counted (the blogger archive is messed up click and search for nexus). It was strengthened again when, as noted here, when NEXUS projected that the regional elections of 2004 would be won by the center right. In fact, the center left won a crushing victory.
As a result I was not very allarmed when NEXUS projected a center right victory again tonight. I was down at piazza SS apostoli where Romani Prodi had to wait till 3 AM to declare victory, trying to assure anxious center left voters that NEXUS was unreliable.
In the event it turned out that NEXUS had done it again. This time they have the excuse that the vote was really close (and they only predicted that the center right would win by 0.5%). Still, I'd say, three strikes and they're out.
Of course, even if they had correctly predicted the outcome, they would be out, since they only got the contract, because they used to work for Berlusconi.