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First exit polls signal populist, center-right rise in Italy's general election
BY 2018-03-05 08:50:58

ROME, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Italians went to the pools to renew the parliament on Sunday, in one of the most divisive and uncertain elections in decades.

Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. and closed at 11 p.m. local time, and the turnout was 58.42 percent at 7 p.m., the Interior Ministry said.

According to first exit polls unveiled by state-run RAI television soon after the end of the voting, anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) would be the most popular party with 29.5 percent to 32.5 percent.

Yet, a center-right coalition including center-right Forza Italia (FI) party and rightwing League would altogether gather more support with 33.5-36.5 percent of the votes.

A center-left coalition led by the Democratic Party (PD) -- which ruled the government in the last five years -- would poll third at 25.5 percent to 28.5 percent.

Delays were registered at some polling stations, and especially in Sicily's regional capital Palermo and in Rome, as voting cards with wrong names of candidates were detected, and had to be replaced. A new anti-fraud check implemented in this round of voting was also blamed for long cues.

Out of a 60-million population, some 46.6 million people were eligible to vote to choose 618 deputies and 309 senators.

(Editor:Li Zhaoqi) (From:xinhua)
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