Italian elections: What first-time voters want

STORY: On Sunday (September 25), Italians will head to the polls to elect a new government.

But for the first time in history, those aged between 18 and 24 will enjoy full voting rights.

Last year, the minimum voting age for the upper house Senate was lowered from 25 to 18.

So what do Italy’s first-time voters want?

Oscar Jones is 19. He’s a biology student in the capital Rome.

“I will vote for the Green party, even though they have very little chance of gaining a majority or even a significant percentage of the vote. Even so, I hope that they will slowly become more and more popular. I think this (climate change) is one of the most important challenges of the new century - investing in renewable energy and paying more and more attention to energy and the environment around us. At the moment it is being somewhat neglected."

But while Oscar may be voting for the Greens…

his friend Franscesco Rantini will be voting for former prime minister Giuseppe Conte's left-leaning 5-Star Movement.

“I'm still a student, I'm studying to become a lawyer. I think I will vote for the 5-Star Movement because to me they represent the left. I think that with him, workers and students can have a heavier weight in Italian politics."

Oscar and Francesco are just two voices - but they’re among 4.1 million people who have just been given the right to vote.

And with the youth vote now more important than ever the big parties have been targeting them via TikTok, with generous promises ranging from outlawing unpaid internships, introducing a minimum wage, and help with rent and tuition costs.

Despite this, pollsters expect a sizeable number to abstain.

And they’re also anticipating a rightist coalition led by the nationalist Brothers of Italy party to be on course for a clear victory.

Leader Giorgia Meloni would be the likely choice to be the country's first female prime minister.

Sunday’s election follows the fall of Prime Minister Mario Draghi's national unity government, brought down by party infighting in July.