Election Day: Italy goes to the polls

Italy votes in the first general election in almost five years.

Italy goes to the polls on Sunday 25 September to vote in a snap general election triggered by the collapse in July of the national unity government of outgoing premier Mario Draghi.

Based on the latest opinion polls, a right-wing bloc is widely predicted to win a solid majority in both houses of parliament.

The alliance comprises the far-right Fratelli d’Italia (FdI), the right-wing Lega and the centre-right Forza Italia, with FdI leader Giorgia Meloni tipped to become the next prime minister.

The centre-left Partito Democratico (PD) trails in second place, far behind the centro-destra bloc, according to opinion polls.

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Almost 51 million Italian citizens are entitled to vote in the parliamentary elections: more than 46 million in Italy and more than four million Italians abroad, who have already cast their votes by post.

There are more than 61,000 polling stations open across the country on Sunday, from 07.00 to 23.00, with around 180,000 electoral scrutineers.

The city with the highest number of eligible voters is Rome – about two million – while the smallest municipality is Rocca de Giorgi, in the northern Lombardia region, with 25 voters.

Lombardia is also the region with the largest number of voters – 7.5 million – while Valle d’Aosta has the lowest number with a total of 98,187.

In the last general election in 2018, which saw the once anti-establishment MoVimento 5 Stelle (M5S) grab 32 per cent of the vote, around 27 per cent of the Italian electorate abstained from voting.

In Italy’s 2022 general election, some 2.6 million adults will vote for the first time for the senate, after the minimum voting age was reduced from 25 to 18 (the same as for the chamber of deputies), as a result of the 2020 constitutional referendum.

The size of Italy’s parliament will also be reduced to 400 members in the chamber of deputies and 200 elected members of the senate, down from 630 and 315 respectively.

Italy has had 67 governments since the end of world war two, an average of roughly one new government every 13 months.

Photo credit: MikeDotta / Shutterstock.com.