Anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) was the bigger winner, taking XXX share of the vote to become the single biggest party.
Its huge popularity means that while the party is unable to govern on its own, it is unlikely to be left out of a coalition of other parties.
Lawmaker Alessandro Di Battista, one of M5S’s most popular politicians, said: “There can be no government without 5-Star, everyone will have to come and talk to us.”
The party’s 31-year-old leader Luigi Di Maio could now form an alliance with the far-right league – made up of four conservative parties – or a centre-left coalition, although the latter is less likely.
The centre-right bloc emerged today as the coalition with the highest number of votes overall – a XXX percent share – while Matteo Salvini’s Lega Nord’s party became its senior partner with XXX votes.
Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia trailed behind in the coalition in second place with a XXX share.
Forza Italia tweeted earlier: “This afternoon President Berlusconi met Matteo Salvini. Congratulating him he has confirmed that thanks to this result centre-right powers will strengthen the coalition which will need to obtain a mandate to govern Italy to restart the country.”
It could take weeks for a government to form in Italy as parties negotiate possible coalitions.
Who were the Italian election’s biggest winners and losers?
Former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi this afternoon resigned as leader of the governing centre-left Democratic Party after it performed poorly, taking only XXX percent of votes.
The left has performed badly overall with issues concerning immigration and high unemployment drawing voters from right-wing splinter parties.
In contrast, protest party M5S won many of its votes in the islands and the majority of the south.
Lega’s strong performance will mean Matteo Salvini’s is guaranteed a hand in any government negotiations over the coming weeks.
Which issues were the Italian election 2018 won on?
Immigration and the downturn in the Italian economy played a huge role in the minds of voters during the Italian election 2018.
Many Italians were angry at the influx of 600,000 migrants from north Africa since 2014, something even French President Macron acknowledge in a news conference this afternoon.
He told reporters: “I take note that, in the world we live in, you can fight for great ideas, but you can’t do that without taking into account a brutal context.
“And Italy has, it’s undeniable, suffered for months and months under the pressure of migration. This very strong migration pressure is a context we should keep in mind.”
Italy’s high unemployment – 11 percent at present – and economic downturn also factored as key election issues.
M5S’s flagship campaign proposal was a minimum monthly income of up to 780 euros ($963) for the poor, explaining its huge swathes in votes across the South.
What about the EU and the euro?
The political uncertainty does not appear to have worried investors with traders set to turn their focus to four major central bank meetings this week, said Nick Bennenbroek, head of currency strategy at Wells Fargo Securities in New York.