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Merkel casts her vote as Germans go to polls in national elections

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Merkel casts her vote as Germans go to polls in national elections


Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, has cast her vote in the country’s national elections.

She is widely expected to win a third term, although who she will form a coalition with is less clear.

The leader of the opposition SPD party, Peer Steinbrueck, voted in Bonn, telling people there he “felt very good” and that it was “finally time for the voters to decide.”

The most recent opinion polls show his centre-left party at 26 percent, lagging 13 points behind Merkel’s conservative CDU, which has around 39 percent support.

All eyes will be on how Merkel’s coalition partner, the business-friendly FDP, do. They have seen their support slide from 14.6 percent in 2009 to just 5 percent.

If they fall below 5 percent they won’t get any seats and Merkel could be forced to court the SPD. She governed with them in a right-left coalition in 2005-09; however Steinbrueck has said he won’t be in a coalition with Merkel.

For now, Germans continue voting.

The first exit polls will be published at 6 pm (1600 GMT.)

With a third of Germans saying they were undecided in the run-up to the elections, there is still much uncertainty about the final result

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