Party leaders cast their ballots in Italy

STORY: Italy's early election is forecast to return the country's most right-wing government since World War Two and usher in its first woman prime minister in Giorgia Meloni.

A right-wing alliance led by Meloni's Brothers of Italy party appeared set for a clear victory, according to the most recent polls.

Italy's first autumn national election in over a century was triggered by party infighting that brought down Prime Minister Mario Draghi's broad national unity government in July.

Polls close at 11.00 p.m. (2100GMT).