Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi put his office on the line to try to pass Sunday's constitutional referendum and, failing, announced his imminent resignation.
"The experience of my government ends here," Renzi said in a televised address, and also "good luck to us all."
The vote wasn't close and he lost it by as much as 20 points as ballots continued to be counted.
Renzi's government had served since February of 2014. His proposed reforms would have reduced the power of the Italian Senate and of regional governments and thus given his office more power to get things done.
It was opposed by a broad group of voices, including the far-right Northern League, which could very well form a future government, and the influential British classical liberal weekly magazine the Economist.
The uncertainty of what comes next was worrying to world markets. The value of both the Euro and S&P futures were both down slightly after news that the referendum and the Renzi government had fallen.