World

Italian anti-immigrant party hoping for gains in regional vote seen as test for PM Renzi

  • Nuns watch a list of candidates prior to cast their ballots for Italian regional elections in seven of the twenty country's regions and more than 700 municipalities, at a polling station in Vicenza, Italy, Sunday, May 31, 2015. (Filippo Venezia/ANSA via AP)

    Nuns watch a list of candidates prior to cast their ballots for Italian regional elections in seven of the twenty country's regions and more than 700 municipalities, at a polling station in Vicenza, Italy, Sunday, May 31, 2015. (Filippo Venezia/ANSA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A woman casts her ballot for Italian regional elections in seven of the twenty country's regions and more than 700 municipalities, at a polling station in Giugliano, near Naples, Italy, Sunday, May 31, 2015. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP)

    A woman casts her ballot for Italian regional elections in seven of the twenty country's regions and more than 700 municipalities, at a polling station in Giugliano, near Naples, Italy, Sunday, May 31, 2015. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Alessandra Moretti, the center-left candidate for Veneto region's governor, casts her ballot at a polling station in Vicenza, Italy, Sunday, May 31, 2015. Italians vote in several regions for governors and in dozens of municipalities for local posts in balloting seen as a limited test for Premier Matteo Renzi's grip on the leadership of his oft-squabbling Democratic Party. (Filippo Venezia/ANSA via AP)

    Alessandra Moretti, the center-left candidate for Veneto region's governor, casts her ballot at a polling station in Vicenza, Italy, Sunday, May 31, 2015. Italians vote in several regions for governors and in dozens of municipalities for local posts in balloting seen as a limited test for Premier Matteo Renzi's grip on the leadership of his oft-squabbling Democratic Party. (Filippo Venezia/ANSA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Italians were voting for governorships in several regions and posts in dozens of municipalities in what is being seen as a partial test of Premier Matteo Renzi's grip on his oft-squabbling Democratic Party.

Six regions were voting on Sunday. In Sicily, voters could cast ballots on both Sunday and Monday.

Balloting in Liguria, traditionally a stronghold of the left, could indicate how deep runs the resentment of Renzi's leadership, seen as heavy-handed by some prominent Democrats. Among the several governorship candidates are two from the left: one from his party and another who could attract disgruntled Democrats.

In the northern Veneto region, the anti-immigrant Northern League is hoping for gains as Italy struggles to shelter tens of thousands of migrants arriving by sea on smugglers' boats.