Italians voted Monday in elections that could see the far right take the historic left-wing bastion of Tuscany, one of several regions up for grabs in a ballot that risks weakening an already fragile federal government.
Polling stations opened Sunday for the two-day vote, despite a threatened resurgence of the coronavirus in Italy, which was the first country in Europe to go into lockdown and is now registering more than 1,500 new cases daily.
Ballots are being cast nationwide for a referendum on cutting parliament numbers, but all eyes are on elections held at the same time in seven regions: Campania, Liguria, Marche, Puglia, Tuscany, Valle d’Aosta and Veneto.
Voting ends at 3pm (1300 GMT) and results are expected late Monday. Turnout was around 40 percent at the close of Sunday.
The high-profile battle is for Tuscany, which has been ruled by the left for 50 years, but may soon be swapping the socialists for far-right leader Matteo Salvini’s League party.
“It’s all to play for. The left has underestimated this campaign. It thought it had it in the bag, and that Tuscans would never look to the future,” Salvini told a rally near the Leaning Tower of Pisa as he closed his campaign.
The left is expected to hold Campania in the south, but the coalition of Salvini’s League, Giorgia Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy and Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right Forza Italia may well snatch neighbouring Puglia.
And the right is set to…
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