Italian election: Country decides after campaign marked by anger – latest news and results forecast

Italy faces a prolonged period of political instability after voters delivered a hung parliament in Sunday’s election, spurning traditional parties and flocking to anti-establishment and far-Right groups in record numbers.With half the ballot counted, it looked almost certain that none of Italy’s three main factions would be able to rule alone and there was little prospect of a return to mainstream government, giving the European Union a new headache to handle.

Silvio Berlusconi and his far-Right allies were on course to emerge as the largest bloc in the Italian parliament, according to exit polls.The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement looks set to become the biggest single party, feeding off discontent over entrenched corruption and growing poverty, while the ruling centre-left Democratic Party (PD) is seen limping home in third place.The forecasts suggests strong backing for anti-establishment and far-Right parties after a campaign marked by anger over the listless economy, high unemployment and immigrationA poll for RAI state television said an alliance of centre-right and far-right parties, including Mr Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, would win between 33 and 36 percent of the vote, short of the 40 per cent analysts believe is the minimum needed to secure a majority under Italy’s new electoral law.Economic analysts said the uncertainty would send tremors through financial markets.

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