German election sees rise in voter turnout

Early indications of turnout in Germany’s national poll today showed more voters casting their ballots than in 2009, election officials said.

German election sees rise in voter turnout

Early indications of turnout in Germany’s national poll today showed more voters casting their ballots than in 2009, election officials said.

The Federal Returning Officer said 41.4% of eligible voters had voted by 2pm (12pm Irish Time), four hours before polling stations closed.

In 2009 about 36.1% had voted by that hour.

The final turnout of 70.8% in the last general election was a record low in post-war Germany.

Experts say a higher turnout could help the Social Democratic Party, whose leader Peer Steinbrueck is hoping to unseat Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Opinion polls published shortly before the election gave Merkel’s conservative coalition a thin lead over the left-leaning opposition.

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