Merkel’s conservatives, rivals SPD neck-and-neck in vote: exit polls

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Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the centre-left Social Democrats were running neck and neck in Sunday’s vote to decide her successor, exit polls showed, in one of the most unpredictable elections in Europe’s biggest economy in recent decades. Surveys published on public television after polling stations closed at 6pm (1600 GMT) found Merkel’s Christian Democrats and their candidate Armin Laschet with around 24-25 percent of the vote, nearly tied with the Social Democrats on 25-26 percent. Given the high proportion of voters who mailed in their ballot, the final results could still…

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