Provisional election results from Italy’s 4 March general election suggest political gridlock, with none of the main parties or coalitions being able to secure a parliamentary majority on their own.
The biggest gains were made by the country’s populist parties, in particular the Five Star Movement (Movimento Cinque Stelle: M5S), which looks poised to win one-third of all votes cast, and the anti-immigrant Northern League (Lega Nord: LN), with about 18% of the vote, outperforming its coalition partner, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forward Italy (Forza Italia: FI), which secured about 14%. Italy’s centre has seemingly collapsed: the ruling centre-left Democratic Party (Partito Democratico: PD) is expected to secure a mere 19% of votes, threatening Matteo Renzi’s position as party leader.
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