General election in the Netherlands kicks off,

Dutch voters started casting their ballots on Wednesday morning in a crucial legislative election, with pollsters predicting a close result. Most polling stations were set to open at 7:30am local time (6:30am GMT), but a few opened an hour earlier. An initial exit poll is expected after 9pm (8pm GMT) when the last polling stations will close. Around 13 million Dutch citizens are eligible to vote. Opinion polls conducted ahead of the vote show Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s center-right party narrowly leading the race, with far-right anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders’ party coming in second.

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