By Angelo Amante and Gavin Jones
ROME (Reuters) – Candidates from the centre-left were on their way to winning municipal elections in Italy’s big cities, showing partial results on Monday.
The results are not expected to have immediate repercussions on the stability of Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s national unity government, analysts say.
Rome, Milan, Naples and Turin, the four largest Italian cities, and more than a thousand smaller municipalities took votes on Sunday and Monday, and a second round takes place in two weeks in municipalities where no candidate reached 50% of the votes .
Center-left candidates are expected to win without the need for a second round in the financial capital Milan, Naples and Bologna.
The center-left was expected to take most cities, but the margins for victory are wider than anticipated.
The outcome is a setback for Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni, respective leaders of the League and the Brothers of Italy, right-wing acronyms who dominate a conservative alliance that leads at the national level, according to opinion polls.
The result also confirms the decline of the 5 Stars, whose unexpected triumphs in Rome and Turin five years ago paved the way for its success in the 2018 national elections, when it was the biggest party, winning 33% of the polls.
The count is likely not to end until Tuesday, but analysts said the trend is irreversible in major cities.
(Additional reporting by Francesco Zecchini)
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