Preliminary results released by Italy’s interior ministry show the centre-right coalition winning about 37 per cent of the parliamentary vote and the 5-Star Movement getting about 31 per cent, with the centre-left coalition far behind with 23 per cent.
With no faction winning a clear majority, the results early on Monday confirm that negotiations to form a government that can win a confidence vote in Parliament will likely be long and fraught.
The partial results show the right-wing, anti-immigrant and eurosceptic League party of Matteo Salvini surpassing the establishment Forza Italia party of ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi. The League captured around 18 per cent, while Forza Italia had less than 14 per cent.
The results confirm the defeat of the two main political forces that have dominated Italian politics – Forza Italia and the centre-left.