Voting has ended in Germany, and voters have voted for a new parliament. After a 16-year term, this will ultimately determine the successor to Prime Minister Angela Merkel, who will lead the most populous democracy in the European Union.
An early exit poll throughout the day suggests a very fierce competition between Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union and the centre-left Social Democratic Party. Most people pointed to the Social Democratic Party slightly ahead, but at least one had the Christian Democratic Party in the lead. The couple tied them together.
Exit polls in this election are complicated by the fact that four out of ten voters have already mailed ballots.
The first return is expected within a few hours, but the final result may not be known until Monday.
Turnout was expected to exceed the 76% recorded in 2017, when the last national election was held, as a sign that the closest election in a few years was the mobilization of voters.
Andrea Lemmele, Dean of the Hearty School in Berlin, said: