With Enrico Letta’s resignation, the stage is set for Matteo Renzi to his place.
The 39-year-old has been dubbed “Italy’s Tony Blair” by supporters, who hail his communication skills.
Like Blair, Renzi looks to pull his tradtionally left-wing party to the centre ground.
Analysts say the mayor of Florence is untested in national government.
That could hurt Italy in the rush for top EU jobs.
“There needs to be a political personality capable of negotiating with heads of state and government,” said Marco Incerti of the Centre for European Policy Studies.
“Renzi has arrive on the scene. He might be appointed prime minister, with little knowledge of his colleagues, and being little-known by his colleagues. It’s something that does not work in his favour.”