All eyes on Rome as Italians awaiting second-round elections results

Italians were feverishly awaiting the results of run-off mayoral elections in several cities on Sunday, with all eyes on the scandal-plagued capital, Rome, where the eurosceptic Five Star Movement (M5S) is favoured to win with candidate Virginia Raggi.

A victory for Raggi, a 37-year-old lawyer, would bring Rome its first female mayor, but would also be a blow to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his party.

These elections are considered an important test for Renzi, who has repeatedly stressed that they are only representative of local issues and not the national government as a whole.

Voter turnout by 7 pm (1700 GMT) Sunday was around 37 per cent across the country, according to the Interior Ministry, lower than the figure of 44 per cent reached by the same time in the first round on June 5. Polls close at 11 pm.

Turnout was low at 62.1 per cent in the first round, compared with 67.4 per cent in the previous elections, the ministry said. Raggi had led with a little more than 35 per cent of votes, while rival Roberto Giachetti of Renzi's Democrats (PD) was just short of 25 per cent.

Nearly 9 million people were eligible to vote on Sunday. Mayoral run-off polls are taking place in five more cities - Milan, Turin, Naples, Bologna and Trieste - with other municipalities also voting.

Last update: Sun, 19/06/2016 - 22:14

More from Europe

Ukraine moves to ban imports of Russian books

The import of Russian books into Ukraine would be sharply limited under new legislation passed in the Ukrainian...

Frankfurt airport test-runs new automatic immigration system

Frankfurt airport was testing out a new automatic immigration system on Thursday, the first time such a system has...

Italian president starts 48-hour round of talks on post-Renzi crisis

Italian President Sergio Mattarella was starting Thursday the hard slog of lifting his country from a political...

10 Italian school classes vote "Mein Kampf" among their top books

Ten classes of Italian high-school students included Adolf Hitler's anti-Semitic manifesto "Mein Kampf" among their...

France's Le Pen says she opposes free schooling for migrant children

French politician and head of the far right National Front party Marine Le Pen said Thursday that free education...