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Most polling stations closed and the vote count began in Hungary's election on Sunday, after a very high turnout that could threaten Viktor Orban's parliamentary majority. He has transformed Fidesz from a liberal party formed in the 1980s to a right-wing populist outfit, which has campaigned this election on an anti-immigration platform.

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

Around 7.9 million Hungarians are eligible to vote until polls close at 7pm (1700 GMT) local time. In some places in Budapest, thousands - in particular students - were still in line at closing time, and voters in parts of southern and western Hungary were also waiting to vote.

An official from Hungary's governing Fidesz party says the exceptionally high voter turnout in the country's parliamentary election shows that "Hungarian democracy is strong".

The victory could embolden Orban to put more muscle into a Central European alliance against the European Union's migration policies.

That has happened only once in Hungary's nearly 30 years of post-communist democracy - in 2002, when voters dealt Orban a shock defeat after his first stint in power.

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.




"Theoretically everything is still possible as we don't know the data yet. but in Hungary a two-thirds victory is possible if neither side loses more than 10 districts and there is a difference of at least 20 percent between the victor and the runner-up", Gulyas said.

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

Winning another two-thirds majority would give Orban the chance to boost a new class of politically-connected oligarchs, tighten his grip on institutions such as the courts, and strengthen resistance against countries like France and Germany that are seeking to deepen European Union integration.

He said voter turnout would determine the outcome.

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

Opposition parties were keen to make sure Orban's bloc does not obtain a super-majority that would allow the autocratic leader to more easily push through constitutional changes, continue his crackdown on civic groups that he claims work against Hungarian interests and further strengthen his grasp on the highly centralized state power structure. Analysts say a high turnout favors the opposition, especially Jobbik. "The EU is in Berlin, in Budapest, in Prague and in Bucharest".

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.


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