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.