Italy's anti-establishment Five Star movement took a large lead in the first round of voting for the mayor of Rome, according to exit polls published this evening, in a possible blow to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Some 13 million people, or a quarter of the adult population, were eligible to vote for mayors of around 1,300 towns and cities today, with attention focused firmly on a handful of major centres, including the Italian capital.

The Five Star candidate in Rome, Virginia Raggi was likely to win 33-37% of the vote, according to the EMG pollster, followed by the centre-left's Roberto Giachetti, who is backed by Mr Renzi, accredited with 22-26%.

According to the Piepoli Institute, Ms Raggi was likely to win 34-38%, compared with 20-24% for Mr Giachetti.

If, as polls suggest, no candidate wins more than 50%, run-offs between those who come first and second will be held on 19 June.

The race looked closer in Italy's financial capital Milan, where EMG had centre-left candidate Giuseppe Sala ahead with 38-42%, followed by the centre-right's Stefano Parisi with 36.5-40.5%.

The Piepoli Institute gave Mr Sala 41-45% and gave 35-39% to Mr Parisi.