Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi has narrowly won a vote of confidence in the lower house of parliament by 314 to 311, prompting street protests.
In Rome, violent clashes have left 50 police officers and at least 40 protesters injured.
The marchers set fire to cars, threw stones and overturned bins in Italy’s worst street violence in recent years.
Mr Berlusconi’s critics say he is too deeply mired in scandal and corruption allegations to remain in office.
The Italian prime minister, 74, is halfway through a five-year term but his position has been weakened by a series of scandals, largely involving his relationships with women.
He has also lost the support of his closest political ally, Gianfranco Fini, along with dozens of his supporters, depriving him of his automatic majority in the lower house.