Europe

Bulgarians vote in election unlikely to bring clear winner

  • Bulgarian ex-Premier Boiko Borisov, leader of the center-right GERB party, speaks to media after voting, in Sofia, Bulgaria, Sunday, March 26, 2017. Bulgarians are heading to the polls for the third time in four years in a snap vote that could tilt the European Union's poorest member country closer to Russia as surveys put the center-right GERB party neck-and-neck with the Socialist Party. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

    Bulgarian ex-Premier Boiko Borisov, leader of the center-right GERB party, speaks to media after voting, in Sofia, Bulgaria, Sunday, March 26, 2017. Bulgarians are heading to the polls for the third time in four years in a snap vote that could tilt the European Union's poorest member country closer to Russia as surveys put the center-right GERB party neck-and-neck with the Socialist Party. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)  (The Associated Press)

  • Lyutvi Mestan, leader of the DOST party, casts his ballot in Sofia, Bulgaria on Sunday, March 26, 2017. Bulgarians are heading to the polls for the third time in four years in a snap vote that could tilt the European Union's poorest member country closer to Russia as surveys put the GERB party neck-and-neck with the Socialist Party. (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova)

    Lyutvi Mestan, leader of the DOST party, casts his ballot in Sofia, Bulgaria on Sunday, March 26, 2017. Bulgarians are heading to the polls for the third time in four years in a snap vote that could tilt the European Union's poorest member country closer to Russia as surveys put the GERB party neck-and-neck with the Socialist Party. (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova)  (The Associated Press)

  • Bulgarian Socialists' Party leader Kornelia Ninova smiles before voting in Sofia, Bulgaria on Sunday, March 26, 2017. Bulgarians are heading to the polls for the third time in four years in a snap vote that could tilt the European Union's poorest member country closer to Russia as surveys put the GERB party neck-and-neck with the Socialist Party. (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova)

    Bulgarian Socialists' Party leader Kornelia Ninova smiles before voting in Sofia, Bulgaria on Sunday, March 26, 2017. Bulgarians are heading to the polls for the third time in four years in a snap vote that could tilt the European Union's poorest member country closer to Russia as surveys put the GERB party neck-and-neck with the Socialist Party. (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova)  (The Associated Press)

Bulgarians are heading to the polls for the third time in four years in a snap vote that could tilt the European Union's poorest member country closer to Russia.

Polls on Sunday opened at 7 a.m. (0400GMT) and first results from exit polls are expected shortly after they close at 8 p.m. (1700GMT).

Some 6.8 million Bulgarians are eligible to vote in an election widely predicted to bring about a fragile government coalition and a fragmented legislature where nationalist and populist parties could become kingmakers.

Surveys say former Prime Minister Boiko Borisov's center-right GERB party is running neck-and neck with the Socialist Party of ex-communists. Both parties have pledged to improve economic relations with Russia, appealing to voters who feel let down by the EU.