LIVE: Italians go to the polls for 2018 election

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A man looks at a board with images of the parties' logos. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Italians are heading to the polls today to vote in the country's general election after a rollercoaster of a campaign. Follow our live blog for the latest updates, predictions, and the results when we get them.

 

13:34: How does it all work?

 

The Italian political system is a complicated beast: find out ten key points in our primer here.

And just to keep things interesting, today's election will use a new, never before tested, and rather complex law.

This was a necessity after Italy was left with two different electoral systems for its houses of parliament in December 2016. Former PM Matteo Renzi had reformed the way the lower house was elected, but his attempts to do the same in the Senate failed, creating an inconsistent electoral system.

Over the next few months, Italy's parties grappled with the task of putting together a new electoral law, which was finally passed in October.

Read more here: How does Italy's new electoral law actually work?

 

11:45 Who's running?

 

Italy has a fragmented political system, so this gets complicated. Click on the links below to read our party explainers.

There are four main parties: the centre-right Forza Italia (FI), radical right League (formerly the Northern League), the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), and the populist Five Star Movement (M5S).

FI and the League are running in a coalition together with the smaller Brothers of Italy party, and there are also many more small parties which could end up playing a key role in building a government once voting is over. 

If you want to know more about the cast of characters you'll be hearing more about today, read our 'who's who' guide below.

Who's who in Italy's 2018 election?

Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

 

 

11:00 Welcome to The Local's live blog for the Italian election

It's been a tumultuous election campaign in Italy, but today is the day Italians head to the polls.

From around 4pm local time, we'll be updating this blog with live updates of all things election-related. Polls are open from 7am to 11pm, and the first exit poll is expected shortly after they close.

As for how things will turn out, that's anyone's guess. Opinion polls are officially banned during the last two weeks of the campaign, though the final pre-vote polls put Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right coalition in the lead, but short of an absolute majority. That's just one forecast though: for a more thorough look at some of the most likely post-election scenarios, click here.

The Local's Europe Editor Catherine Edwards will be running this blog and our journalist Jessica Phelan will be out in Rome bringing us reaction from voters and experts throughout the day. Follow us on Twitter and get in touch with your election opinions and predictions.

You can also head to our Facebook page to let us know your thoughts.

Meanwhile, if you want to catch up on the story so far, take a look at our election coverage by clicking on the link below:

The Local's complete guide to the Italian election: what you need to know

The Local's complete guide to the Italian election: what you need to know
Photo: vkovalcik/Depositphotos

 

 

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