Italy's parliamentary elections kick off Sunday, with polls suggesting the center-left - led by Pier Luigi Bersani - is on track to defeat controversial three-time prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
But Berlusconi's rise in the polls in recent weeks, combined with widespread public disillusionment, means that nothing about the race is a foregone conclusion.
The two-day election is a four-horse race between political coalitions led by Bersani, Berlusconi, outgoing premier Mario Monti, and the anti-establishment movement led by ex-comedian Beppe Grillo.
Polls are banned within two weeks of the elections, but the most recent ones had Bersani holding onto a slender lead over Berlusconi. Grillow was a distant third.