Comedian splits Italy vote

Italy appeared to be heading towards another political deadlock after a centre-left coalition narrowly won the lower house but failed to win the Senate. But a protest movement led by comedian Beppe Grillo won 25%

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Leaders cast their votes in Italy's general election

Outgoing Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has cast his vote in the country's general election.

Mario Monti casts his vote at a polling booth in Milan Credit: REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Meanwhile, as former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi voted three female protesters pulled off their tops to display the slogan "Basta Silvio! which was scrawled across their bodies.

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi smiles as he casts his vote Credit: REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Police detained the women for questioning and Italian news reports said the three were members of a feminist protest group.

Italy goes to the polls in general election

Italians have begun voting in the country's general election which is being closely watched in the eurozone, amid fears political instability could hinder efforts to tackle its economic problems.

It is expected to be closely fought by the centre-left Democratic party led by Pier Luigi Bersani and former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right Freedom People party

A man casts his ballot at a polling station Credit: APTN

Polling booths will remain open until Monday afternoon.

Exit polls will come out soon after voting ends and official results are expected by early Tuesday.

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