Rome: Italy opened polling stations for snap parliamentary elections at 07:00 a.m. local time (05:00 GMT) on Sunday.
The citizens are electing 400 members of parliament and 200 senators, after the cabinet led by Prime Minister Mario Draghi resigned in late July. The administration continues to perform its duties until a new government is formed.
With almost 51 million people being eligible to vote, the turnout is expected to be at 65-70%, however early national media reports show a low turnout in the first few hours.
According to the Italian Interior Ministry, which performs the functions of the election commission, more than 61,000 polling stations have been opened in the country and abroad, which will be open until 23:00 on Sunday. The counting of votes will start immediately after the closure of the polls. The results of the first exit polls are expected after 23:00, the first official results will be announced closer to Monday morning.
The coalition of the center-right parties has the best chance to win the general elections. According to various polls, the last of which were released on September 9, it can count on 45-47% of the popular vote, which may provide the group with the opportunity to make up a sustainable majority needed to form a government. Meanwhile, Brothers of Italy is the country’s most popular party with a 23-25% support level.