Hungary's Orban seeks re-election on anti-migrant platform

Hungary's Orban seeks re-election on anti-migrant platform

In last elections of 2014, Orban's coalition Fidesz-KDNP won 133 seats, securing two thirds of the parliament, also known as a super majority.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban is seeking his third consecutive term.

Voters will weigh Orban's popular anti-immigration stance and an economic upswing against an authoritarian tilt that's made him the black sheep of the European Union and a role model for anti-establishment parties from Italy to Poland. Such an outcome would allow Orbán to pursue radical change, perhaps tightening his grip Hungary in the same vein as Poland. Firebrand Prime Minister Orban has clashed repeatedly with other European Union leaders during his last term, especially with regard to the bloc's response to the refugee influx across Europe in 2015 and 2016.

But as Chairman of the Party, Vona has gradually brought Jobbik into the mainstream in the hope of widening its political base.

"We are celebrating democracy and it seems like this feast will be handsome because many of us are taking part", said Gergely Karacsony, the leading candidate of the left-wing Socialist and Dialogue parties.

Orban's election campaign focused on his staunch anti-migration policies despite opinion polls suggesting that many Hungarians are actually more anxious about other social concerns such as poverty, corruption and improving funding for the country's ailing health care system.

Rivals say that leaves open the possibility of an upset and are urging voters to turn out in record numbers.

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

After casting his vote in a wealthy district of Budapest, he said: "From here I will go and take part in mobilizing voters".

"Opposition politicians are right to be the glad about high turnout, but it does not mean that anything has been decided".

Orban is expected to continue his economic policies, with income tax cuts and incentives to boost growth, analysts have said.

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

The PM and his wife Aniko Levai were pictured voting at a school in Budapest this morning, while Hungarian citizens in London were seen queuing in the rain to cast their ballots.

A high turnout in a 2002 vote consigned Orban to eight years of opposition.

Rebranding itself as a moderate "conservative people's party", its leader Gabor Vona has called for a change in government and railed against Mr Orban.

Analysts say the strong participation could point either to a sweeping win for Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party or a strong showing by splintered opposition groups. The EU is now in Berlin, in Budapest, in Warsaw, in Prague and at Bucharest.

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