Italy votes as Giorgia Meloni's far-right coalition looks set for victory

Italians are deciding whether to choose their most right-wing government since World War Two, in an election being followed closely across Europe. Giorgia Meloni leads the far-right Brothers of Italy party and is aiming to become the country's first female prime minister allied with two other parties on the right. Any coalition led by Giorgia Meloni has been described as "the country’s most radical government since Mussolini."

Meloni herself has softened her image and resents being linked to Italy's fascist past.

Almost 51 million Italians have the right to vote until 23:00 (21:00 GMT).

Voting started at 7am on Sunday, and turnout stood at about 51,8% by 7pm local time. The share of undecided voters was at 25% before voting began, meaning the rightwing alliance might win a slimmer majority than pollsters originally suggested. A leftwing alliance led by the Democratic party is predicted to get 22-27% of the vote.

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