Note: This is a live blog but with newest information at the bottom.
The Independent reports Exit polls point to no party gaining absolute majority.
Note the slightly higher estimates for the Northern League than Forza Italia.
If it's a hung election, I believe the existing coalitions will die and new ones will form.
Some Returns Coming In
Returns are now coming in, and some people are shocked.
Top Lega (Northern League) official Giancarlo Giorgetti speaking from party HQ:
"These are historic results for the Lega. We're picking up votes from North to South. We had 4 percent in 2013, now projections say 16 to 17 percent, perhaps more. We'll discuss things with our allies but this is a historic moment for the Lega."
Prior totals were for the Senate only where the Voting age is 25. Lower parliament voting age is 18. House projections now look similar according to La7, via Bloomberg
- Five Star 32.1%
- Democratic Party 19%
- Northern League 17.5%
- Forza Italia 14.1%
Matteo Renzi will comment on the outcome once final data are in. He did, however, admit defeat: "This is a very clear and definite defeat for us. It is a result that is very clearly negative.''
Bloomberg FX editor Marco Bertacche made this comment. emphasis mine.
"We'll monitor reaction from the losers (likely Democratic Party secretary and former PM Renzi) and hints at post-vote coalition talks from the winners (Salvini, Five Star's Di Maio)"
Most of mainstream media is still in denial, referring to the Silvio Berlusconi-led center right.
Berlusconi looks doomed to come in fourth place.
From Marco Bertacche
A new seats' projection from RAI/Opinio Italia for the 315-member Senate is out -- no coalition has a majority; eventual League-Five Star would have a majority.
Here is a good Live Results feed.
Translation as of 8:26 PM central: "Triumph M5S, League exploit: populist forces over 50%. Renzi's Democratic Party collapses. Center-right the most voted"
Latest lead-in chart is from TGSky 24 Projection. Anecdotes in White are mine.
No Surprise Here
Four days ago I suggested Italy Election March 4: Consider a Surprise M5S + NL Alliance.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock