Italy’s national election—set to take place this weekend—has become a referendum on austerity and tax.
Five of the seven parties standing claim they will stop implementing austerity.
The centre-left Democratic Party looks set to win. But the most generous polls put them at just 35 percent of the vote.
Its programme of tax reform has not been radical enough to pull voters away from comedian and blogger Beppe Grillo’s 5 Star Movement.
It has attracted people disillusioned with the political elite, corruption and unemployment.
But Grillo’s anti-big state stance has also attracted people who describe themselves as on the right.
The party could come third.
Disgraced ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is standing again.
Berlusconi was forced to resign in November 2011 amid a sex scandal. Then the unelected technocrat Mario Monti was installed at the behest of the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
In the last poll Berlusconi came second with over 28 percent, in front of Monti and his grouping of centre right politicians.