The center-right coalition led by Giorgia Meloni is set to win the majority in the Italian elections on Sunday. Exit polls put Meloni's Brothers of Italy on top, at 24.6% of the vote.
The Democratic Party (PD), Italy's main center-left group, has conceded defeat and said it was positioned to become the largest opposition force in the next parliament.
"This is a sad evening for the country," Debora Serracchiani, a senior PD lawmaker, told reporters in the party's first official comment on the result.
"[The right] has the majority in parliament, but not in the country," Serracchiani said.
The PD's center-left alliance appeared to be the closest contender the center-right bloc in exit polls, with as much as 29.5% of the vote.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, sent their congratulations to Meloni after exit polls showed her party's victory.
"In these difficult times, we need more than ever friends who share a common vision and approach to Europe's challenges," said Orban's political adviser Balazs Orban.
With their right-wing nationalist leaders, both Budapest and Warsaw have been locked in rows with Brussels. Recently, the European Commission recommended suspending billions in funds for Hungary over what it said was the receding of democratic values.
Italy's center-right coalition, led by nationalist Giorgia Meloni, is likely to win a majority in the general election as polling stations closed at 11 p.m. local time (2100 UTC/GMT).
The alliance, which also includes the right-wing populist Lega and the conservative Forza Italia, is expected to win more than half of the seats in parliament.
First projections showed the alliance led by Meloni's Brothers of Italy party securing 42.2% of the vote. Exit polls published by the RAI public broadcaster put Meloni's Brothers of Italy on top, at between 24.6% of the vote.
RAI said the right-wing alliance would win between 227 and 257 of the 400 seats in the lower house of parliament, and 111-131 of the 200 Senate seats.
As leader of the strongest party, Meloni could lead the future government as Italy's first female prime minister.
Meanwhile, the center-left campaign alliance of the Social Democrats with left-wing parties and the Greens secured 26.5%. The Social Democrats are seen as the second largest party with 19.4%.
The left-wing 5 Star Movement grabbed 16.5%.