The election pits a populist former prime minister who campaigned on a pro-Russia and anti-American message against a liberal, pro-West newcomer.
Voters in Slovakia are heading to the polls to vote in an early parliamentary election that pits a populist former prime minister who campaigned on a pro-Russia and anti-American message against a liberal, pro-West newcomer.
Polling stations across the EU and NATO member of 5.4 million people opened on Saturday morning, with exit polls expected later in the day and the final results due on Sunday morning.
Depending on who prevails, the election could reverse the small eastern European country's support for neighbouring Ukraine in its war with Russia.
Former Prime Minister Robert Fico and his leftist Smer party have vowed to withdraw Slovakia’s military support for Kyiv if he returns to power.
Fico also opposes EU sanctions on Russia and wants to block Ukraine from joining NATO.
He proposes that instead of sending arms to Kyiv, the EU and the US should use their influence to force Russia and Ukraine to strike a compromise peace deal.
Smer's main challenger is Progressive Slovakia, a liberal party formed in 2017 and led by Michal Simecka.
Progressive Slovakia sees the country’s future as firmly tied to its existing membership in the EU and NATO.
Both Smer and Progressive Slovakia parties scored around 20% backing in the final opinion polls, which means the likely election winner will need help from smaller parties to form a majority coalition in the 150-seat parliament.
However, the choice of coalition partners is fairly broad, with 11 parties expected to win parliamentary seats.