Rome — Nearly complete Italian mayoral election results confirm that voters have rejected populist candidates.
With most ballots counted from elections a day earlier in a thousand small cities and towns, the 5-Star Movement imploded in all big races including in Genoa, home of leader-comic Beppe Grillo.
Voters thrashed the anti-euro movement, which bills itself as anti-establishment, exactly a year after 5-Stars captured Rome's city hall, fuelling the populists' ambitions to win a national election.
In all but one of the top cities up for grabs, candidates from centre-right and centre-left alliances earned berths in June 25 runoffs, since none clinched more than 50% of the votes.
The exception was Palermo, where 40% is the threshold. There anti-Mafia maverick Leoluca Orlando won a fifth term.