Far-right parties surge in Italy polls
Rome: A surge for populist and far-right parties in Italy's election could result in a hung parliament with a right-wing alliance likely to win the most votes but no majority after a campaign dominated by anger against immigration.
The projections based on early results on Monday also showed the far-right League party ahead of media mogul Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (Go Italy) party within the right-wing coalition in on Sunday's vote.
That raises the prospect of League leader Matteo Salvini, who has promised to shut down Roma camps, deport hundreds of thousands of migrants and tackle the "danger" of Islam, becoming Italy's next prime minister.
The eurosceptic, anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which has drawn support from Italians fed up with traditional parties and a lack of economic opportunity, was predicted to come second to the coalition.
The boost for far-right and populist parties has drawn comparisons to Britain's vote to leave the European Union and the rise of US President Donald Trump.
"The European Union is going to have a bad night," Marine Le Pen, leader of France's National Front, tweeted. Brexit firebrand Nigel Farage congratulated the Five Star Movement, his allies in the European Parliament, "for topping the poll" as Italy's biggest single party.
Resentment at the hundreds of thousands of migrant arrivals in Italy in recent years fired up the campaign, along with frustration about social inequalities.
"These are historic results," Giancarlo Giorgetti, deputy head of the League, told reporters in Milan.
Alessandro Di Battista of the Five Star Movement, said: "Everyone is going to have to come and speak to us".
The ruling centre-left Democratic Party, which has struggled to get across its pro-European message of gradual economic recovery, was left trailing.
"This is a very clear defeat for us," Michele Martina, a minister in the outgoing government, told reporters.