Right tipped to win in Lazio and Lombardia.
The two Italian regions centred around Rome and Milan go to the polls on Sunday and Monday in what is the first electoral test of Giorgia Meloni's right-wing government since it came to power in October.
Candidates supported by Meloni's coalition are expected to win in the northern Lombardia region around Milan as well as in the central Lazio region around the Italian capital.
Voters will be asked to choose a regional president and councillors in both regions whose inhabitants account for around a quarter of Italy's population.
In Lombardia the main candidates are the outgoing governor Attilio Fontana of the right-wing Lega party; Pierfrancesco Majorino of the centre-left Partito Democratico (PD); and Letizia Moratti backed by the centrist Terzo Polo alliance between Carlo Calenda's Azione and Matteo Renzi's Italia Viva.
In Lazio the main candidates are the former Italian Red Cross president Francesco Rocca (backed by the government coalition parties); the outgoing health councillor Alessio D'Amato (PD) in the assembly headed by the region's outgoing president Nicola Zingaretti (PD); and the RAI journalist Donatella Bianchi for the populist Movimento 5 Stelle.
Polls are open in Lazo and Lombardia on Sunday from 07.00 to 23.00 and Monday from 07.00 to 15.00. The results are expected to be known from late Monday onwards.
Photo credit: Stefano Guidi / Shutterstock.com.
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