But the latest projections suggest that media magnate Berlusconi is strongly back in the running. Pollster Nexus said its projection based on 44 percent of the vote gave Berlusconi's center-right bloc a 49.9 percent to 49.6 percent edge over Prodi in the lower house.
The pollster said Berlusconi also had a slight lead in the upper house Senate, based on 95 percent of its sample vote.
Analysts caution it's still too early to draw any firm conclusions. Official results are due out later tonight.
(Compiled from agency reports)