Iraq election tally so far

Also, as the results are not drawn equally from across the city, the figures are not representative.

Of the votes counted, 75 per cent were from Risafa, which is a predominiately Shia district and 25 per cent comes from Karkh, which is more Sunni and mixed.

Caution over Baghdad

Hazem al-Nuaimi, a political analyst, cautioned against reading too much into any early results from Baghdad as the city is now largely segregated along sectarian lines.

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"It is clear that the final votes will be distributed among the blocs closely," Nuaimi said. "This means there will no winning bloc with a big margin."

Baghdad is worth twice as many seats in Iraq's next parliament as the next largest province.

The parliament has a total of 325 seats.

The votes tallied so far suggest weeks or months of horse-trading ahead to form a government and pick a prime minister.

Allegations of fraud may also unsettle the scenario.

Iraqiya has charged that ballots were dumped in the garbage, nearly a quarter of a million soldiers were denied voting rights and electoral commission workers fiddled with vote counts.

After the last elections in 2005, sectarian violence erupted as politicians took months to form a government.