Hungary's election could produce record turnout - ruling party

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban attends the last campaign event of his Fidesz party in the town of Szekesfehervar

This in turn will lead Viktor Orban to the third term as prime minister.

The victory could embolden Orban to put more muscle into a Central European alliance against the European Union's migration policies. Orban, Hungary's longest-serving post-communist premier, opposes deeper integration of the bloc.

His sometimes lurid rhetoric against immigrants resulted in February in a spat between the government and the UN's top human rights official, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, who accused Mr Orban of xenophobia and racism.

Orban has far-right admirers across Europe who like his tough line on migrants and a landslide win would show that his single-issue campaign, arguing that migration poses a security threat, had paid off.

Hungary, where there are more than eight million registered voters, takes to the ballot box every four years to decide on the 199 seats in the country's parliament. "The EU is in Berlin, in Budapest, in Prague and in Bucharest".

Asked about relations between Hungary and the EU, Orban said, "We are a loyal member of the United Nations and all worldwide organizations".

But others disagreed, such as kindergarten nurse Szilvia Nagy in the northeastern town of Gyoengyoes, who said: "I would like to change the government, because I desire a nicer future".

It is suggested a strong win for Orban could trigger cracks in the EU. Some pollsters have said voter turnout above 70 percent this time could cause the ruling Fidesz to lose its parliamentary majority.

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Opinion polls have consistently put Orban and his right-wing Fidesz party 20 or more points clear of their nearest rivals, Jobbik, a far-right party that has been moving towards the center, and the center-left Socialists.

Gabor Vona of the nationalist Jobbik party urged his supporters not to become complacent. "Emigration may or may not define Hungary, and I would prefer that it does not".

He said voter turnout would determine the outcome.

Gergely Karacsony, the leading left-wing candidate for prime minster, said Sunday the high turnout was good news for those in favor of preventing Prime Minister Viktor Orban from winning his third consecutive term.

Turnout was higher than the final turnout of 61.73 percent in the last election in 2014 which gave Orban a landslide victory.

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. "Safety is first", said Julia Scharle, 27, holding her child outside the voting district where Orban cast his vote. She would not reveal her voting preference.

Even if Fidesz does gain its expected parliamentary majority, analysts will be watching to see whether it falls short of the two-thirds "supermajority" that has enabled it to pass some of its most controversial bills. Businessmen close to Fidesz have acquired stakes in major industries like banking, energy, construction, and tourism, profiting from European Union funds.

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