Published November 17, 2014
Premier Silvio Berlusconi and his increasingly restless allies are awaiting results from mayoral runoffs that offer potential risks for his government's stability and his leadership.
A second day of voting ends Monday afternoon. Then the vote tally starts.
The media mogul is staking his political clout in particular on the race in Milan, where he campaigned heavily for the incumbent.
Opinion polls showing his popularity has slipped and Berlusconi says he'll read the outcome of local races as a test of voter sentiment about his conservative government.
He is on trial in Milan in a prostitution scandal. Critics say most of his energy is involved defending himself from charges he paid for sex with an underage Moroccan teenager and then used the premier's office to try to cover it up.