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Polls open in closely fought Netherlands election

Published on Sep 12, 2012 2:15 PM
Dutch Prime Minister and Liberal Party leader Mark Rutte (centre) hands out flyers in The Hague on Sept 11, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

THE HAGUE (AFP) - Polls opened on Wednesday in a Netherlands election that has shaped into a tight race between the Liberals of current Prime Minister Mark Rutte and rising Labour star Diederick Samsom.

Over 12 million voters will elect MPs for the 150-seat lower house after polling stations opened at around 7.30am (1.30pm, Singapore time).

Voting ends at 9pm (3am on Thursday, Singapore time) with an indication of results from exit polls expected shortly after.

The election is seen as a barometer of anti-European Union sentiment in the euro zone's fifth-largest economy where many taxpayers are fed up with bailing out indebted southern European nations while swallowing their own budget cuts.

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