Rome, Turin and Trieste vote for new mayors in run-off elections

Race between centre-right and centre-left in Rome, Turin and Trieste.

Voters return to the polls in 65 Italian towns and cities to elect new mayors in municipal run-off elections after there were no outright winners in the first round two weeks ago.

The vote, which began early on Sunday morning and continues until Monday afternoon, puts the two highest-polling candidates in each city in a head-to-head race or 'ballottaggio.'

In the elections on 3-4 October there were victories for the centre-left in Milan, Naples and Bologna, where candidates each secured more than the 50 per cent plus 1 necessary to win in the first round.

Today all eyes will once again be on Rome, as well as Turin and Trieste, where the results are seen as a barometer ahead of national elections just over a year away.

In the capital, the centre-right candidate Enrico Michetti is up against the centre-left Roberto Gualtieri as they battle it out to succeed Rome's outgoing mayor Virginia Raggi of the populist Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S).

Michetti is backed by the centrodestra alliance of the far-right Fratelli d'Italia (FdI) of Giorgia Meloni; the right-wing Lega party of Matteo Salvini; and the centre-right Forza Italia of Silvio Berlusconi.

Gualtieri, of the centre-left Partito Democratico (PD), has received the backing of Carlo Calenda, the centrist Azione leader who came third in the Rome mayoral race, as well as the M5S leader and former premier Giuseppe Conte.

Raggi, who could have supported Gualtieri or Michetti, has chosen not to endorse either candidate.

In Turin the race to succeed mayor Chiara Appendino is between the centre-left Stefano Lo Russo and the centre-right Paolo Damilano.

In Trieste, Roberto Dipiazza of the centre-right faces Francesco Russo of the centre-left.

Turn-out on the first day of the run-off was 33.3 per cent, a drop of six per cent compared to the first round, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

Voting stops at 15.00 on Monday 18 October. Photo ANSA.