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Italy's ruling centre-left in shock after crushing election defeat

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Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi arrives to cast his vote
Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi arrives to cast his vote -
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REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
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Italy's political left was in shock after a right-wing alliance emerged with the biggest bloc of votes after Sunday's (March 4) general election. The ruling centre left coalition is third place behind the anti-establishment 5-Star movement.

"It is clear that for us it is a very clear defeat, very clear," said Maurizio Martina, an official from the ruling Democratic Party.

"It is clearly a result below the expectation."

Throughout the night Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi stayed alone with his party faithful. None of the other parliamentarians, the outgoing ministers, showed up at the headquarters of the democratic party at any point during election night.

"The long night of the democratic party started on March 5," said Euronews reporter Gioia Salvatori. " "What will Renzi decide to do? Will he resign or not? Will he be leading a small parliamentary group or not? All these questions will be answered in the next few hours."

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