Bulgarians vote in election unlikely to bring clear winner

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.