Exit polls put the anti-establishment Five Star Movement in second place.
It has made significant gains and could emerge as the largest single party, with about 30% of votes and 195-235 seats.
Italy’s political left was in shock after a right-wing alliance emerged with the biggest bloc of votes after Sunday’s (March 4) general election. The ruling centre left coalition is third place behind the anti-establishment 5-Star movement.
“It is clear that for us it is a very clear defeat, very clear,” said Maurizio Martina, an official from the ruling Democratic Party.
“It is clearly a result below the expectation.”
WITH less than a fortnight before Italy’s general election, authorities in Rome are stepping up efforts to evict thousands of refugees – with right-winger Matteo Salvini pledging large-scale deportations.
And the charity Medicins Sans Frontieres has highlighted the fact about 10,000 migrants and refugees throughout Italy are living in what they describe as “inhumane” conditions.
Mr Salvini – leader of Lega Nord – signalled his intention to take a tough stance by vowing to deport 500,000 migrants within five years if his party wins the election – including 100,000 in the first year.
If polling is accurate, the centre-right coalition which includes Lega Nord, as well as former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, is on course to win a majority in the March 4 poll.
And Mr Salvini said: “The only antidote to racism is to control, regulate and limit immigration. There are millions of Italians in economic difficulty. “talians are not racist, but out-of-control immigration brings with it far from positive reactions. We want to prevent that.”
Italy is desperately trying to take back its country today.