Italians, many of whom have now been to the polls three times in just over two months, have voted no to the constitutional amendment passed through parliament last November by the parties in the centre-right coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi. In a referendum, which was held on 25 and 26 June, 53.6 per cent of those eligible to vote went to the polls, the highest number of voters at a referendum in the last ten years. 61.7 per cent voted no to the constitutional amendment and 38.3 per cent were in favour of the changes and voted yes. The constitutional amendment would have given more power to the regions, modified the make-up and function of the two houses of parliament and changed the balance of power between the prime minister and the president of the republic, giving more power to the former.

The prime minister, Romano Prodi, who campaigned for a no vote has said that there is now an opportunity for all the political parties to work together on modernising the constitution sensibly.