Italy’s national elections are likely to return a hung parliament, exit polls predict.
The election has been closely watched to see if populist sentiment swings it in the same way as America’s election and the Brexit vote.
A centre-right alliance is likely to win the biggest bloc of seats in the lower house of parliament – but will fall well short of an outright majority, according to an exit poll aired by public broadcaster Rai.
The alliance, which includes Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (Go Italy!) party, is likely to win 225-265 seats, ahead of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement with 195-235 seats and the ruling centre-left bloc with 115-155.
Former premier Berlusconi was met with a topless Femen activist protesting his involvement as he cast his ballot.
An outright majority would require at least 316 seats.
Italy is currently governed by a centre-left coalition led by the Democratic Party, but this was lagging in the polls with 24.5% to 27.5% of the vote.
The centre-right coalition currently dominating includes a smaller far-right party, with 33% to 36% percent of the vote, compared with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement’s 29.5% to 32.5%.
The first projections based on an initial vote count were expected on Monday morning.