• SABC shenanigans

    SA has already embarked on a slippery slope to autocracy, warns Terry Bell in Inside Labour.

  • Zim tastes people power

    Protests in Zimbabwe are forcing Mugabe to face anti-government sentiment, says Memory Mataranyika.

  • Platinum handshake

    Officials who try to do what's right risk far more than blessed wrongdoers, says Solly Moeng.

All data is delayed
See More

Italians vote in cliffhanger elections

Feb 24 2013 14:40

Rome - Voting was under way in Italy's general election on Sunday, amid uncertainty about who will prevail and signs of mounting support for a radical protest party which advocates a referendum on the country's eurozone exit.

Polling stations opened at 8am (07:00 GMT) and were to close at 10pm. A second day of voting takes place on Monday, from 7am to 3pm, with exit polls due immediately thereafter.

A total of around 50 million Italians are eligible to vote, but analysts predict abstention rates of around 30%. Snow in northern Italy was expected to hold some voters back.

According the Ministry of Interior, voter turnout stood at 14.6% by noon, down from 16.3% at the last general elections in 2008.

The frontrunner in the contest is centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani, but his "Italy Common Good" coalition risks falling short of a majority in the upper house of parliament, the Senate.

Negotiations to form a government may be complicated by the likely success of comedian Beppe Grillo, whose anti-establishment Five Star Movement drew hundreds of thousands of people for its final rally on Friday in Rome.

Pollsters say the movement could emerge as the third or second-largest single party in parliament. Grillo is not standing himself, but has pledged to act as the party's "spokesperson."

The other main contenders are scandal-prone former premier Silvio Berlusconi, whose conservative coalition was trailing the centre-left before an opinion polls blackout came into force on February 8, and outgoing premier Mario Monti.

Monti's centrist alliance is seen as the most likely coalition partner for Bersani - were he not to secure a solid majority - but the prospective deal is hindered by policy differences between Monti and Bersani's leftist ally, Nichi Vendola.

All the leaders except Grillo had cast their vote by Sunday morning.

Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:


Saving can make a lot of things possible, but we all know how hard it is to save. This special Savings Issue will help you get focused.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

Sarb's decision to keep the repo rate unchanged is:

Previous results · Suggest a vote