3. "The centre left is strongly leading in Italy's election, raising the chances of a stable pro-reform
government in the euro zone's third largest economy, according to two telephone polls published after voting ended."
Italy's electoral laws guarantee a strong majority in the lower house to the party or coalition that wins the biggest share of the national vote.
However the Senate, elected on a region-by-region basis, is more complicated and the result could turn on a handful of regions, including Lombardy in the rich industrial north - which the polls showed was tied - and the southern island of Sicily.
The 76-year-old Berlusconi, a billionaire media tycoon, pledged sweeping tax cuts and accused Monti of being a puppet of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a media blitz that halved the lead of the centre left since the start of the year.
But many voters said they were sick of his broken promises and his campaign faltered at the end, with Grillo stealing some of his votes. The election could mark the end of a flamboyant two-decade career at the centre of the political stage.