Hungary: Party says vote shows strong democracy

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Heartened by a recent poll showing more Hungarians would prefer for Orban to go than to stay, the opposition has shifted its focus from coordination to get-out-the-vote campaigns.

A landslide win would make Orban feel vindicated in his decision to run a single-issue campaign, arguing that migration posed a big security threat.

Voting in Hungary's parliamentary election officially has ended, but numerous polling places are still open to accommodate long lines of people waiting to cast ballots.

"High turnout means, most probably, less mandates for Fidesz than in the previous term", said Peter Kreko, director of think tank Political Capital.

Over 3.3 million voters had taken part by 1 p.m. (1100 GMT), for a turnout rate of 42.3 percent six hours before the end of voting. Orban is due to speak soon, deputy prime minister Zsolt Semjen said. The outcome could affect the unity of the European Union. "The EU is in Berlin, in Budapest, in Prague and in Bucharest".

"We love our country and we are fighting for our country", he said.

Hungary's complex electoral system makes the outcome of the election hard to predict, though pollsters agree that Orban's Fidesz party, along with its allied Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP), will likely triumph over a splintered opposition.

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Polls agree on the eventual triumph of Orban's right-wing nationalist Fidesz party and its allied Christian Democrats in Sunday's national vote, but opposition leaders were encouraged by a high early turnout. It has been campaigning on an anti-corruption agenda and urged higher wages to lure back hundreds of thousands of Hungarians who have left Hungary for western Europe.

Meanwhile, Jobbik leader Gabor Vona cast his ballot in the northeastern town of Gyongyos, saying that the result would "determine the fate of Hungary not just for four years but. for two generations". In Hodmezovasarhely, a Fidesz stronghold in southeastern Hungary, voters complaining of graft, cronyism, and intimidation elected an independent in a February mayoral election for the first time in two decades.

The anti-immigrant campaign has gone down well with numerous roughly two million core voters of Fidesz.

In March the government gave pre-election handouts to millions of families and pensioners. She would not reveal her voting preference. The Socialists came in third with 14 percent. That was the highest turnout at that hour since at least 1998.

If borne out, Mr Orban will likely seize on the results as vindication of his clashes with European Union institutions over his hardline anti-immigration policies and rejection of the EU's refugee resettlement programme, as well as his moves to clamp down on civil society groups.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party is expected to win the majority of the 199 parliamentary seats, with Vona's Jobbik and a left-wing alliance of the Socialist Party and the Dialogue party led by Gergely Karacsony considered the leading challengers.

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