"Let's go straight to Parliament to tell you that there is no longer a majority ... and quickly turn to the electorate," said Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who heads the anti-xenophobic party Lega.

Salvini says Parliament may convene next week to begin the process.

Even Five-Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio says his party is ready for re-election.

Noise about fast trains

Italy is governed by a coalition government between Lega and the anti-establishment party Five Star Movement (M5S). Speculation has recently been high about whether the government should crack down after the parties disagreed on the funding of a high-speed rail line.

The two parties have been close to different paths in the past. In mid-July, it was speculated whether the government would crack down, due to different views on the new EU Commission President, German Ursula von der Leyen.

The balance of power has changed

In early June, the partyless Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte threatened to step down unless the leaders of Lega and M5S started talking to each other. The brawl at that time was about tax cuts which they eventually agreed to implement.

Salvini's desire for new elections may be based on a desire to strengthen Lega's support in Parliament. The balance of power between Lega and the Five Star Movement has been reversed since the EU elections last spring.

Lega then got 34 percent of the vote, unlike 17 percent in the national election last year. At the same time, support for the Five Star Movement fell to just over 17 percent in the EU election, compared to 32.5 percent in the national election.