Far-right politician Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party appeared to be on the cusp of victory in Italy’s general election on Sunday, according to exits polls released shortly after the urns closed at 11 pm local time.
According to exit poll results released on state broadcaster Rai, Brothers of Italy has taken 22- 26% of the vote.
Meloni is expected to form a coalition government with Matteo Salvini’s far-right League and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia to create one of the most right-wing Italian governments since World War Two.
The exit polls suggest League has taken 8.5-12.5% of the vote, while Forza Italia has taken 6-8%, which would give their coalition around 41-45% of the vote.
The centre-left Five Star Movement has come in as the third most popular party with 13.5-17.5% of the vote.
A win for the Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia, Fdl) party will signify a political earthquake for Italy and Europe.
The party was created in 2012 by former members of the National Alliance, which in turn was the heir to the Italian Social Movement, a neo-fascist party founded by former members of Benito Mussolini’s National Fascist Party.
Meloni has sought to distance her party from its neo-fascist roots but its populist stance and views on Europe, Russia, gender politics and immigration have raised concerns at home and across Europe.
Italian exit polls are not always 100% accurate and projections due out around midnight are expected to give a more precise idea of the results.
The final official result is expected around 2-3 am in Italy.