Early results in a regional election in Sicily indicate that the center-right is slightly edging the populist 5-Star movement in a neck-and-neck race.

Some 4.6 million Sicilians voted Sunday in the last major electoral test before a national election due next year, with major parties hoping to gain momentum.

With 16 percent of the vote counted early Monday, the center-right candidate Nello Musumeci led with 37.2 percent of the vote ahead of 5-Star candidate Giancarlo Cancelleri at 36.1 percent. The Democratic Party, which leads the central Rome government, is lagging badly at 18.7 percent.

A victory by Musumeci would restore the island's traditional political order after five years of a center-left administration, while a victory by the 5-Star movement would hand the populist party control of its first region.