An opinion poll, conducted on the 12-13 January by the market research group IPSOS, shows that 73 per cent of Rome's voters expect to return the incumbent, Walter Veltroni, to office at the city elections this spring. He belongs to the centre-left Democratici di Sinistra party.

So far four candidates have come forward from centre-right parites, including two government ministers, Giovanni Alemanno, minister for agriculture and Mario Baccini, minister for public administration, but according to the poll the four candidates together would only total 27 per cent of the vote.

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