Italy will be led by the most far-right government since the fascist era of Benito Mussolini, early exit polls suggest.
An alliance of far-right parties, led by Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party – whose origins lie in post-war fascism – were on track to win between 41 per cent and 45 per cent of the vote in Sunday’s general election, according to data from the Rai exit pollster Piepoli.
The ultra-conservative Brothers of Italy party looks likely to win between 22 per cent and 26 per cent of the vote, with coalition partners the League, led by Matteo Salvini, taking between 8.5 per cent and 12.5 per cent and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia scoring between 6 per cent and 8 per cent of the vote
As the leader of a far-right coalition, Meloni, a 45-year-old Euroskeptic firebrand, is now set to become Italy’s first female prime minister. Final results are expected later on Monday (AEST).
Meloni’s party has seen an astronomical rise in popularity in recent years, having won just 4.5 per cent of the vote in the last elections, in 2018.
Its popularity underscores Italy’s longstanding rejection of mainstream politics, seen most recently with the country’s support of anti-establishment parties such as the Five Star Movement and Salvini’s League.