Italy’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement won elections in Rome and Turin in a populist surge giving the Italian capital its first female mayor
The victory for Virginia Raggi is a blow to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi who is preparing for a crucial referendum on constitutional reform in October.
The new mayor of Rome will find a city mired in debts of more than €13bn – twice its annual budget.
Romans are said to be frustrated by potholes, piles of rubbish and serious deficiencies in public transport and housing.
5-Star’s Chiara Appendino took Turin. It’s a shock defeat for Renzi’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD) as Turin is one of the party’s traditional heartlands and the home of carmaker Fiat,
One consolation result – Renzi’s candidate Giuseppe Sala retained the financial capital Milan.
In Naples, Italy’s third largest city, former prosecutor Luigi de Magistris, a centrist with no party affiliation, is set to win a second term.
Five Star was founded in 2009 by comedian Beppe Grillo and campaigns on an anti-corruption ticket. It is looking to establish itself as the main opposition party in the 2018 general election.