ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s rightist bloc has won at least three of seven regions at stake in local elections, but League leader Matteo Salvini looked unlikely to end half a century of centre-left rule in Tuscany, exit polls said on Monday.
If confirmed, the result would represent something of a relief for the coalition Democratic Party (PD), which looks set to lose Marche, but had feared above all defeat in its traditional Tuscan stronghold.
In a national referendum held alongside the local ballots Italians voted in favour of cutting the number of lawmakers in the upper and lower houses of parliament to 600 from 945, an exit poll on state broadcaster RAI said.
The poll said 60-64% of people had supported the measure. Such a result would be a fillip for the co-ruling 5-Star Movement which has championed the reform, arguing that it would reduce costs and improve parliamentary efficiency.
Spreads in the Italian sovereign debt market narrowed after the exit polls were released, with investors apparently hoping the result would help bolster political stability at a time when the government faces a deep recession triggered by the coronavirus.
In the regional vote the right, including the League, kept control of both Veneto and Liguria, while the PD looked sure to retain Campania, the exit poll said.
In Puglia, the heel of Italy, the race between the right and the incumbent PD candidate was too close to call, while in Tuscany, the PD candidate was seen taking 43.5-47.5% against 40-42% for the League candidate.
The seventh regional vote is taking place in the tiny, French-speaking Valle D’Aosta, which has its own party system. A League-backed list was seen in front, the RAI exit poll said.
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