South Korea has its first female president if TV exit polls prove to be accurate.
Research by three networks shows the conservative candidate Park Geun-hye ahead with 50.1 per cent of the vote.
That would put the daughter of the country’s former military ruler marginally ahead of her left-wing rival Moon Jae-in who is predicted to win 48.9 per cent.
Both candidates promised more dialogue with their neighbour North Korea after a deterioration in relations over recent years.
Analysts said a high turnout would favour the left-winger and the elctorate voted in droves – an hour before the polls closed more than 70 per cent had cast their ballot.