Renzi, who has vowed to step aside if he loses, was counting on a last-minute turnaround in voter sentiment to win backing for his proposals to streamline parliament and centralise some regional powers in the name of more effective and stable government.
Turnout was very high by Italian standards, with 57.24 percent of voters having cast their ballots by 7 p.m. (1800 GMT), according to the Interior Ministry. – READ MORE
ITEXIT: Massive turnout as Italy referendum battle enters final hours
Italians voted in huge numbers on Sunday in a high-stakes constitutional referendum that will decide the fate of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and has left the rest of Europe braced for the fallout.