Italy braces for sharp move to the right after election voting closes

Italians were braced for seismic change on Saturday, on the eve of an election forecasted to hand Italy the most rightwing government since the second world war.

Giorgia Meloni, the head of the post-fascist Brothers of Italy party, is widely tipped to become the country’s first woman to head a government.

“The country is eager for a change, a new face,” Wolfango Piccoli of the London-based political risk consultancy Teneo said.

Italy is battling a series of crises, from rampant inflation and extreme weather events linked to climate change, to an energy crisis aggravated by the war in Ukraine.

The campaign, sparked by Mario Draghi’s downfall in July, wrapped up on Friday, giving Italians a day of reprieve as electioneering is banned after voting ends.

People who spoke to Agence-France Presse in Rome on Saturday said they were unsure the day before the results are announced as the latest polls show that the Brothers of Italy party is likely to win and form a government.

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