A woman leaves a polling station after voting during the regional elections in Tuscany on September 20, 2020 in Livorno, Italy.
Laura Lezza | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Italy has seen voters largely opt for the status quo, exit polls following regional elections showed Monday, dispelling expectations that the center-right opposition, led by the Lega party, could make strong advances at the expense of the center-left.
Exit polls reported by Reuters when voting ended at 3 p.m. local time showed that the center-left could be just ahead of the center-right in the key voting ground of Tuscany, which has been traditionally a center-left stronghold. However, exit polls showed the center-right could have taken Marche from its rivals.
The region of Campania is expected to be held by the center-left, and Veneto and Liguria by the center-right. Exit polls showed center-right and center-left alliances neck-and-neck in Apulia. No data was available for Valle d’Aosta.
Regional elections were held in seven regions — Tuscany, Valle d’Aosta, Liguria, Marche, Puglia, Veneto and Campania — and a long-awaited constitutional referendum on whether to reduce the number of members in parliament from 945 to 600 was also held. An exit poll for the referendum showed the reform was expected to pass easily, as expected. The elections started on Sunday and continued into Monday.
The nationwide turnout for the referendum was 39.4% at the end of Sunday, the interior ministry said, according to ANSA news agency. Most of Italy’s political parties are in favor of the constitutional amendment and the vote is expected to be approved by a majority of the public.
The results of regional elections were being more closely watched to see whether the Democratic Party (PD) and the Five Star Movement (M5S) lose ground to an alliance of right-wing parties, led by the anti-immigration Lega party.
In particular, Tuscany, long-held by the center-left, was in the spotlight as opinion polls before the election showed the vote was too close to call.