Local and regional elections underway in Italy are being seen as chance for Romano Prodi to prove his popularity and Silvio Berlusconi to seek revenge after the close-run national vote in April.
Mayors and local councillors are being elected in 1,260 cities and towns, including Rome, Milan, Turin and Naples.
It means around 20 million Italians are being asked to go back to the ballot box.
Centre-left Prime Minister Prodi wants to hold Turin to undermine centre-right leader Berlusconi’s claim that the richer north of the country supports him.
Berlusconi hopes a strong showing will back his claim that he would win a general election if it were held today.
Voting for the regional government in Sicily pitted a centre-right candidate, who is currently on trial for mafia-association, against the sister of a murdered anti-mafia magistrate.