ROME – A comic's anti-establishment political movement, which scored a stunning success in its first bid to enter Italy's Parliament, has flopped in nationwide local elections.
Final results Tuesday for mayoral races in more than 500 towns and cities dealt Beppe Grillo's upstart 5-Star Movement a dramatic setback. It failed to win any races or make it into runoffs slated for June.
The movement shook up long-established parties earlier this year when it won a quarter of the votes in parliamentary elections, becoming the third-largest national force. The 5-Star Movement, which rails against generous state funding for political parties, blamed tight campaign budgets in part for its poor showing in this week's municipal balloting. Its candidate took 12 percent in Rome's race.