According to Italy’s Interior Ministry, some 70 percent of Italy’s eligible voters took part in the referendum, after more than two-thirds of polling stations reported their results. An exit poll conducted by the Piepoli Institute/IPR for RAI television estimated that 40.9 percent voted “Yes,” while 59.1 percent voted “No.” RAI projections indicate that voters in only three of Italy’s 20 regions cast ballots to approve the reform, while in 17 regions the proposal was rejected.
Ahead of the referendum vote, Renzi promised that he would step down if his proposed constitutional reform was not approved.
While the referendum result will be widely seen as a personal failure for Renzi, it is also being perceived as a heavy blow to EU bureaucratic elites.
RT’s Paula Slier talked to voters in Rome, who shared the notion of this being a vote more broadly linked to EU policies.
“The mainstream media is likely to present this as a personal defeat, a vote of [no] confidence against Renzi and against the leadership. But it should be seen as a much more symbolic vote… it is also a vote against the European Union, against the EU policies and against the EU establishment,” Slier said, citing voters’ opinions.