Hungarian PM Orban expects to win 4th term in national vote

Hungarians Go To The Polls In Test Of Orban, Fidesz Strength

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's ruling Fidesz party has pointed to the high turnout as a sign that Hungarian democracy is healthy, but the increased turnout could give Orbán something to worry about: numerous voters waiting in line in Budapest were young, and young, city-dwelling Hungarians do not tend to support the prime minister.

According to the National Election Office, 2.35 million voters had cast ballots by 11 a.m. (0900 GMT), or 29.93 percent of those eligible.

Voters were no longer allowed to join queues at polling stations from 1700 GMT, but those already in line were being allowed to cast their ballots, meaning voting could continue for hours more at the busiest stations.

Some 8.3 million Hungarians are eligible to vote, with preliminary results expected Sunday night. "I am asking everyone to take part in the election".

"We love our country and we are fighting for our country".

After an acrimonious campaign in which Orban projected himself as a savior of Hungary's Christian culture against Muslim migration into Europe, all opinion polls put his Fidesz party well ahead.

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But the president, who has long had an adversarial relationship with the news media, did not elaborate on how he planned to do so. And unlike past year , she said, the president wouldn't discourage other administration officials from attending.

Reports say there is a slight chance the opposition could deny Fidesz a parliament majority if voters discontent with Orban's policies choose tactical voting in the 106 constituencies.

Gabor Vona of the nationalist Jobbik party said the question was not about migration into Hungary, but about the large number of Hungarians who were leaving the country and heading to Western Europe in search of higher wages and better prospects.

Voters in Hungary are going to the polls in a general election on Sunday.

"Only a dramatic outcome of the election would force a significant shift in the direction of policymaking", Barclays said in a note. "Emigration may or may not define Hungary, and I would prefer that it does not". That was the highest turnout figure at that time since at least 1998.

Orban is credited with keeping the budget deficit under control, reducing unemployment and some of Hungary's debt, and putting its economy on a growth track.

At a final campaign rally Friday, he urged his voters to turn out in masses on electio day.

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"My little daughter must be my primary concern, to make her future safe".

Orban has campaigned heavily on his unyielding anti-migration policies.

Tamas Boros of the Policy Solutions think-tank says the high voter figures mean either "overwhelming support" for Prime Minister Viktor Orban's severe anti-migrant policies or the end of his populist, right-wing Fidesz party's omnipotence.

There are 199 seats in parliament available this election and opposition parties do not want Orban's coalition to be the majority, which could lead the autocratic leader to push through constitutional changes.

However, the polls could be unreliable as one-third of voters are undecided and many hide their voting preference.

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