Highlights

  • Giorgia Meloni to be Italy's first-female prime minister
  • Italy's far-right leader's party Brother's of Italy swept to victory in general elections
  • Italy's govt is likely to be led by a woman leader since World War II

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Giorgia Meloni, Italy's far-right leader set to be country's first female PM

According to projections around one in four voters in Sunday's election backed Meloni's Brothers of Italy party, which has neo-fascist roots.

Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni said Monday she was ready to govern for "all Italians" after her eurosceptic populists swept to victory in general elections, putting her on course to guide Italy's most right-wing government since World War II.

According to projections around one in four voters in Sunday's election backed Meloni's Brothers of Italy party, which has neo-fascist roots.

But the party leads a coalition set to win a majority in parliament.

Her success represents a seismic change in Italy, a founding member of the European Union and the eurozone's third largest economy -- and for the EU, just weeks after the far-right outperformed in elections in Sweden.

Meloni, who campaigned on a motto of "God, country and family", is expected to become Italy's first female prime minister, although the process of forming a new government could take weeks.

At a time of soaring inflation, a looming energy crisis and the war in Ukraine, the 45-year-old sought to reassure those worried about her lack of experience and radical past.

Meloni said voters had sent a "clear message" of support for her party to lead their right-wing coalition to power.

"If we are called to govern this nation we will do it for all Italians. We will do it with the aim of uniting people, of enhancing what unites them rather than what divides them," she told reporters.

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Her coalition allies, Matteo Salvini's far-right League and former premier Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia, lagged behind her in the polls.

But together they were forecast to win around 43 percent, enough to secure a majority in both houses of parliament.

Full results are not due until later Monday but the centre-left Democratic Party, the coalition's main rivals, conceded, saying it was a "sad" day.

Turnout fell to a historic low of around 64 percent, about nine points lower than the last elections in 2018.

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