Janez Jansa, right-wing opposition Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) leader, right, speaks to journalists after casting his ballot at a polling station in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Sunday, June 3, 2018. Slovenians are voting in a parliamentary election with polls predicting that an anti-immigrant party will win the most votes but not enough to form a government on its own.(AP Photo)

The Latest: Right-wing party has big lead in Slovenia

June 03, 2018 - 2:32 pm

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — The Latest on a parliamentary election in Slovenia (all times local):

8:15 p.m.

Preliminary returns from Slovenia's parliamentary election are confirming that an opposition right-wing party led by a former prime minister received the most votes.

The State Election Commission said after counting about three-quarters of the ballots cast Sunday that the Slovenian Democratic Party was in first place with around 25 percent of the vote. The next closest party, the List of Marjan Sarec, had about 12 percent.

The Social Democrats are in third place with about 10 percent, while the Left party and the Modern Center Party of outgoing Prime Minister Miro Cerar received about 9 percent.

The official returns more or less mirror an earlier projection from exit polling. The final count could vary slightly as more results come in.

The outcome of the election means that none of the parties will have a majority in Slovenia's 90-member parliament and that negotiations on forming a coalition government are likely after Sunday.

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7:45 p.m.

The leader of a right-wing party in Slovenia is expressing hope he will be able to form a new government.

Former Prime Minister Janez Jansa tweeted Sunday after an exit poll projected that his Slovenian Democratic Party won the most votes: "We do not fear tomorrow; we are looking forward to it."

Jansa, an ally of Hungary's anti-immigrant prime minister, added: "If SDS forms the government, we will lead it in a fair way, to the benefit of all citizens."

But the exit poll suggested his party wouldn't have enough seats in parliament to govern alone, and Jansa could face trouble finding potential coalition partners among other parties.

The leader of the second-placed party, Marjan Sarec, says he expects to be in position to form the government and is ruling out a coalition with Jansa.

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7:15 p.m.

An exit poll in Slovenia is suggesting that a right-wing opposition party led by a former prime minister has won the most votes in a parliamentary election.

The polls conducted by the Mediana Institute and carried by Slovenia's public broadcaster and a commercial television station predicted that Janez Jansa's Slovenian Democratic Party won 24.4 percent of the vote on Sunday.

The poll says the second-place party is the List of Marjan Sarec with 12.6 percent. Prime Minister Miro Cerar's Party of Modern Center was third with 9.8 percent.

If confirmed in official results, the results mean a coalition government likely will have to be formed.

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7:00 p.m.

Polls have closed in the Slovenian parliamentary election that is expected to produce no clear winner amid strong gains by a right-wing opposition party.

Some 1.7 million voters in the European Union nation of 2 million were choosing Sunday from a vast array of parties, but only several are slated to make it over the 4 percent threshold to be represented in Slovenia's 90-member parliament.

The anti-immigrant Slovenian Democratic Party of former Prime Minister Janez Jansa was leading the polls going into the election. Trailing behind him were the anti-establishment List of Marjan Sarec, the Social Democrats and the Modern Center Party of outgoing Prime Minister Miro Cerar.

Surveys have predicted that Jansa's party won't secure enough of the vote enough to rule on his own, so postelection negotiations to form a new government are likely after Sunday.

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9:15 a.m.

Slovenians are voting in a parliamentary election with polls predicting that an anti-immigrant party will win the most votes but not enough to form a government on its own.

The ballot Sunday is an election called a few weeks earlier than the regular four-year span following the sudden resignation in March of outgoing Prime Minister Miro Cerar over a failed railway project.

The right-wing Slovenian Democratic Party of former Prime Minister Janez Jansa has seen strong support ahead of the ballot, followed by an anti-establishment party led by ex-comedian Marjan Sarec and several moderate groups from the outgoing ruling coalition.

Slovenia, once part of communist-run Yugoslavia and the home nation of U.S. first lady Melania Trump, joined the European Union in 2004. It has been using the shared euro currency since 2007.

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