Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement looked set to suffer a severe setback in the country’s local elections. Early exit polls said it failed to make the run-off vote in almost all the main cities up for grabs.
If confirmed, the result could undermine 5-Star’s hopes of winning Italy’s national elections.
Initial counts showed its candidates coming third or fourth in many cities including the home of the movement’s founder, Genoa.
5-Star had been hoping to build on its success last year, when it took charge of Rome after winning a landslide.
The city administration has been battered by scandal, resignations and in-fighting, denting the squeaky-clean image it presents itself as.
Italy’s centre-right had most to cheer about after Sunday’s (June 11) vote, leading the field in many cities, including Genoa, which has been run by the left for decades.
Its only hope of making the second-round vote on June 25 was in the southern Italian city of Taranto, early results indicated.
“This is a huge defeat for 5-Star,” said Matteo Ricci, head of local affairs for the ruling centre-left Democratic Party (PD). “Not only are they not making the run-offs, but they are polling disastrous numbers.”