Italians headed to the polls on February 24 for the first day of voting in a parliamentary election that analysts believe will end with no clear winner.
Despite snow and rain in much of Italy, turnout was high on the first day of voting. Official figures at noon on February 24 showed that turnout was only slightly lower than at the same point during the last election in 2008.
Voting ends at 15:00 CET on February 25, with official results expected by the early hours of February 26.
The latest opinion data gave Pier Luigi Bersani’s centre-left coalition a narrow lead over the centre-right alliance of Silvio Berlusconi. But no polls have been published since Italy’s pre-election blackout began on February 8.
Outgoing prime minister Mario Monti and his centrist faction failed to build strong momentum during the campaign. But political pundits believe Monti could end up as kingmaker because Bersani may need to team up with him in order to form a workable administration.
Controversial former prime minister Berlusconi, currently fighting a court conviction for tax evasion, made a dramatic return to the political stage during the lead-up to the election.
Berlusconi grabbed the headlines once again as he cast his vote in Milan. A group of women’s rights activists picked that moment to protest against him – topless.
Anti-establishment comedian Beppe Grillo had a successful campaign. Pollsters say his Five Star movement could come in third or even second. More than 500,000 people are estimated to have attended his final rally on February 22.
Copyright © 2013 euronewsMore about:
- 1Mandela Memorial Sign Language Interpreter a ‘Fraud’
- 2Uruguay makes history by legalising entire marijuana market
- 3Social networks respond to mystery sign language and Obama ‘selfie’ at Mandela memorial
- 4US considers sanctions against Ukraine as Yanukovych’s offer of talks with the opposition is rejected
- 5Catherine Ashton in talks with Ukraine about a trade agreement with Europe
- 1Uruguay makes history by legalising entire marijuana market
- 2Mandela Memorial Sign Language Interpreter a ‘Fraud’
- 3Riot police raid Kyiv’s central square
- 4What’s God got to do with it?, asks Nobel Prize in Physics winner
- 5Italy: ‘Pitchfork protesters’ disrupt road and rail travel in protest at state of economy
- 12:01 CET Pope attacks mega-salaries, big bonuses, in peace message
- 11:40 CET Austrian coalition talks enter home stretch
- 11:06 CET Blast near U.S. embassy in Kabul was accident, Afghan official says
- 11:05 CET Nigeria largely ignores sectarian violence – Human Rights Watch
- 11:04 CET Thai military chief will not meet protest leader – army spokesman
- 10:36 CET Indian ban on gay sex violates international law – U.N.
- 10:25 CET South Korea’s KAI sells fighter jets worth $1.1 billion to Iraq
- 10:16 CET Berlusconi says arresting him would incite revolution in Italy