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Berlusconi Trailing In Italian Exit Polls

Romano Prodi (file photo) (AFP) April 10, 2006 -- Exit polls in Italy indicate that center-left challenger Romano Prodi is leading conservative Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in parliamentary elections.

A poll broadcast by RAI state television predicts that Prodi's alliance will win between 50 and 54 percent of the vote in both the lower and upper houses of parliament.

Berlusconi's center-right bloc is shown winning 45 to 49 percent of the vote in both houses, according to the poll.

A separate poll by the Piepoli group shows Prodi's center-left alliance winning 52 percent of the vote in the lower house, to give it 340 of the chamber's 630 seats. It was seen winning around 167 of the 315 seats up for grabs in the upper house.

Official results are due later today.

(compiled from agency reports)