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ELECTION DAY ITALY

This article will be updated several times throughout 26 May.

The procedure:

Polling sections open at 7:00 and work until 23:00. (Time zone CET+1). Voters will not be allowed to enter the sections after the deadline.

The first exit polls are expected to be announced at 00:15 of Monday, 27 May. Provisional final results are expected at 02:00 of Monday, 27 May.

In Italy 51.073.042 people are called to express their choice in each of the 61.432 sections. Outside the country, Italians have already voted in the special 298 sections.

The stakes :

The main stake is which force between Democratic Party (PD) and the ruling party Five Star Movement (M5S) will emerge as the second national party. Matteo Salvini’s the League will be the most voted political force.

Five parties are assured of electing MEPs: the aforementioned PD, M5S, the League, together with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and Brothers of Italy (FdI).

A big question is will Emma Bonino’s + Europa be capable of passing the 4% threshold. According to opinion polls, +Europa is the only other Italian party to be close to that threshold.

The developments:

00:20 am, 27 May. Total turnout of the Italians living abroad reached 7,57%, according to the official final data provided by the ministry of the Interior. In 2014 the participation level stopped at 5,42%. The highest turnout was registered in Latvia (54,29%), the lowest in Belgium (5,44%). Overall and regional turnout are available on the website of the ministry of the Interior.

23:30. First exit-polls: The League 27%-31%, Democratic Party (PD) 24,5%-25,5%, Five Star Movement (M5S) 18,5%-21,5%, Forza Italia 8%-12%, Brothers of Italy (FdI) 5%-7%, + Europa 2,5%-4,5%.

23:01. Turnout reached 48,84% at 23:00, according to the preliminary data provided by the ministry of the Interior. In 2014 the participation level at the same time was 56,24%.
There will be no other data on the turnout, since the election section are closed. There will be the final official definitive data during the night. Overall and regional turnout are available on the website of the ministry of the Interior.

23:00. Election sections closed.

21:00. Turnout reached 43,84% at 19:00, according to the final official data provided by the ministry of the Interior. In 2014 the participation level at the same time was 42,14%.
Next official data on the turnout will be made public at 23:00, when the polling sections will close. Overall and regional turnout visible on the website of the ministry of the Interior.

20:33. The European Parliament produced the first projection on the composition of the next Plenary. According to the preliminary data the compotion is the following: EPP 173 seats, S&D 147 seats, ALDE (including Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche) 102 seats, Greens 71 seats, ECR 58 seats, ENL 57 seats, EFDD 56 seats, GUE 42 seats, Non-attached 8 seats, Others 37 seats.

19:00. Turnout reached 37,39% at 19:00, according to the preliminary data provided by the ministry of the Interior. In 2014 the participation level at the same time was 39,49%. So far Italy is about to register the lowest ever performance in the history of the European elections.
Next official data on the turnout will be made public at 23:00, when the polling sections will close. Overall and regional turnout visible on the website of the ministry of the Interior.

15:31 Now it is Silvio Berlusconi’s turn to ignore the electoral silence. Always from Twitter comes his clear indication to vote for Forza Italia. Italy has problems with rules and their respect, nothing to say about.

15:10. Not even the political group of the League at the Italian Senate respected the electoral silence. On Twitter voters are invited to vote for the party in the name of security and police regime.

14:05. Turnout reached 16,72% at 12:00 pm, according to the final official data provided by the ministry of the Interior. In 2014 the participation level in the same moment of the election day was 16,66%.
Next official data on the turnout will be made public at 19:00 and at 23:00, when the polling sections will close. Overall and regional turnouts are available on the website of the ministry of the Interior.

13:19. In the Italian capital city turnout was 15.5% at 12:00, the Municipality of Rome announced. In absolute numbers, 356.710 out 2.301.781 people with voting right expressed their choice. This quota is higher than five years ago. In 2014 the local turnout was 12.9% at the same time (12:00 pm).

12:54 pm. The director general of the office for Italians abroad of the ministry for Foreign affairs, Luigi Maria Vignali, announced the arrival of the voting papers from the UK. “Despite the uncertainty related to Brexit, we were capable of getting our fellow countrymen to vote in the United Kingdom”.

12:21 pm. Turnout reached 15,92% at 12:00 pm, according to the preliminary data provided by the ministry of the Interior. In 2014 the participation level at the same time was 16,01%.
Next official data on the turnout will be made public at 19:00 and at 23:00, when the polling sections will close. Overall and regional turnout visible on the website of the ministry of the Interior.

12:13 pm. Silvio Berlusconi, leader of Forza Italia (FI), voted in Milan. Meanwhile on twitter his party suggests Italians to vote during the lunch time in order not to find bottlenecks.

12:01 pm. The outgoing president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, just voted.

11:50 am. The leader of the League, Matteo Salvini, keeps breaching the electoral silence by holding an electoral rally on Twitter. “Democratic party and the left wing force gave Italy in the hands of bankers and bureaucrats”, he tweeted. Furthermore Salvini embedded a short video against the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and against the Hungarian-American investor and philanthropist George Soros.

11:02 am. The political leader of the Five Star Movement (M5S), Luigi di Maio, voted in his electoral section in Pomigliano d’Arco (Naples).
“I did my duty, so do you”, he said before leaving.

10:00 am. Nicola Zingaretti, leader of the Democratic Party (Partito democratico, or PD), voted.

9:10 am. The president of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, went to vote to his electoral section in Palermo, Sicily.

8:16 am. The leader of the League, Matteo Salvini, invited Italians to vote for him on Twitter. As we wrote already on this blog, Italian national legislation doesn’t extend pre-election silence on the Internet. So, don’t expect fair play on Twitter and Facebook.

07:45 am. First voting papers of the Italians living abroad arrived at Rome Fiumicino international airport. Voting papers come from Nicosia, Cyprus. In total, there are 27 flights of such a kind awaited today. The last one is foreseen to land at 16:15, coming from Lisbon.

07:00 am (Brussels time). Election sections open.

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