Italy is on course for a hung parliament after voters backed right-wing and populist parties, vote projections based on partial results suggest.
Ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi’s right-wing coalition looks set to win the most seats in the lower house of parliament.
It is tipped to get 248-268 seats – below the 316 needed for a majority.
Forming a government may now take weeks of negotiation and coalition-building.
Alternatively, fresh elections could be held in a bid to produce a more decisive result – though there is no guarantee that would happen.