Italy votes in tight parliament race

Feb. 24, 2013 at 10:12 AM

ROME, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Italy began voting in parliamentary elections Sunday with most final polls still showing no clear favorites among the competing parties.

The voting is ongoing through Monday and could result in a close election that some analysts fear will result in no party holding a clear majority.

Britain's The Guardian said Sunday the final pre-election polls indicated a close race with the center-left Democratic party holding a slim lead over the center-right Freedom People party led by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Berlusconi, who had allied his party with the rightist Northern League, made a late media push and proposed a property tax refund to sway the last-minute undecided voters.

The Guardian said a wild card in the race will be the Five Star Movement, a new anti-establishment party led by former comedian Beppe Grillo. Grillo has been drawing big crowds but remained in third place ahead of the embattled current prime minister, Mario Monti, and his centrist bloc.

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