Hungary election: Viktor Orban's Fidesz celebration hopes for third straight term
Voting is drawing to a close in Hungary, where opinion polls have pointed to a third consecutive term for proper-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Before the vote, Mr Orban and his Fidesz party have been polling at 20 points or a lot more ahead of the far-right Jobbik party and the centre-left Socialists.
Polling stations were meant to close at 19:00 (17:00 GMT), but some are staying open hours later due to long queues.
Preliminary results are expected a single or two hours right after voting ends.
Although Fidesz is expected to win a parliamentary majority, analysts are watching to see if Mr Orban’s celebration can regain its “supermajority”.
This is the two-thirds manage of the 199-seat legislature that allowed Fidesz to pass controversial laws putting pressure on the judiciary and the press.
Data at 16:30 GMT from the National Election Workplace showed voter turnout of 68% – about nine points greater than at the identical point in the 2014 election.
Pollsters think a high turnout could advantage the opposition.
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What are Viktor Orban’s policies?
Mr Orban refused to publicly debate with his opponents during the campaign or speak to the independent media, speaking instead at rallies for his supporters.
These addresses focused on a single core policy – stopping immigration.
“Migration is like rust that slowly but certainly would consume Hungary,” Mr Orban said at his final rally on Friday.
Under Mr Orban, Hungary built a fence along its borders with Serbia and Croatia in 2015 to stop illegal migrants.
His anti-immigration measures and difficult rhetoric have seen him clash with the European Union in the past.
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Mr Orban is an avowed Eurosceptic who opposes further EU integration. He refused to take portion in the EU’s refugee resettlement programme and he has praised Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
If he wins, as is probably, Mr Orban has promised to cut revenue tax and pass pro-growth economic policies.
His administration has presided over powerful economic development which, he says, would be threatened beneath the opposition.
Who are the opposition parties?
A poll on Friday place Fidesz on 46% amongst decided voters, far more than 20 points ahead of their nearest rivals Jobbik, on 19%.
Formerly a far-appropriate group who agitated against Hungary’s Roma neighborhood, Jobbik has tried to claim the centre ground in recent years.
Rebranding itself as a moderate “conservative people’s party”, its leader Gabor Vona has named for a alter in government and railed against Mr Orban.
“Viktor Orban is a burnt-out politician, interested only in corruption and football,” he when mentioned.
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The centre-left Socialists meanwhile had been on 14% in Friday’s poll and not believed to pose a threat to Fidesz.
Nevertheless, a single-third of voters remain undecided, and an upset is not becoming ruled out.
In February, the southern town of Hodmezovasarhely elected a mayor backed by all the major opposition parties. It had been considered a Fidesz stronghold.
Analysts recommend tactical voting could in theory strip the government of its 131-seat domination of Hungary’s parliament.
Nevertheless, provided his commanding lead in the polls, an outright defeat for Mr Orban is unlikely.
Published at Sun, 08 Apr 2018 18:25:58 +0000