Italians set to back cutting number of MPs: exit poll

Centre-right ahead in regional votes in Veneto, Liguria, Marche, but Salvini fails to conquer Tuscany

Photo: EPA Matteo Salvini casts his ballot at a polling station in Milan, 21 September.

The Italians are set to approve a cut in the number of parliamentarians, according to an exit poll released after the closing on ballot stations for the Constitutional referendum on Monday, ANSA reported.

The poll put the yes vote on 60-64% compared to 36-40% for the no vote. People voted on whether to approve a constitutional law that amends the Italian Constitution to reduce the number of MPs in parliament, from 630 to 400 in the Chamber of Deputies and from 315 to 200 in the Senate.

Regional elections were also held on Sunday and Monday in Veneto, Campania, Tuscany, Liguria, Marche, Puglia and Valle d'Aosta. Italy’s rightist bloc has won at least three regions, but League leader Matteo Salvini looked unlikely to end half a century of centre-left rule in Tuscany, exit polls showed. 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.

The right, including the League, kept control of both Veneto and Liguria after the vote held over two days on Sunday and Monday. The PD looked certain to retain Campania, an exit poll on state TV RAI said.

In Puglia, the heel of Italy, the race between the right and the PD was too close to call, while in Tuscany, the PD candidate was seen three percentage points ahead of 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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