Interim turnout at Hungary's election higher than in 2002

Hannah Rogers
April 9, 2018

Orban, who focused his campaign on his harsh anti-migration stance, says it's a "misunderstanding" that his frequently harsh criticism of Brussels was directed at the whole of the European Union.

A landslide win would make Mr Orban feel vindicated in his decision to run a single-issue campaign, arguing that migration posed a big security threat.

After casting his vote in a wealthy district of Budapest with his wife, Mr Orban said Hungary's future was at stake in the vote.

Uncertainties about Orban's expected margin of victory are caused by Hungary's complex electoral system in which voters cast two ballots, one for an individual candidate in their region and another for a party list. "I am asking everyone to take part in the election".

Analysts say his policies could have a long-lasting impact on the European Union. The EU is in Berlin, in Budapest, in Warsaw, in Prague and in Bucharest.

After casting his vote in a wealthy district of Budapest, he said he would stand up for Hungary's interests and said Hungary was a loyal member of global organizations.

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

On Origo.hu, a formerly independent website now owned by government allies, stories promoted Orban while also focusing on migration, The headlines included "Migrant gangs fought in England", "They can't stand it anymore in Sweden: They've had enough of migrants", and "A migrant in underpants beat a German retiree half to death".

101st soldiers killed in helicopter crash at Fort Campbell
Marine Corps jet crashed at the country's global airport and a Marine Corps helicopter sustained "minor damage" Tuesday. An Apache helicopter went down around 10 p.m. local time, killing two soldiers from the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade.

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

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

On Friday, at his closing campaign rally, Orban vowed to protect his nation from Muslim migrants, saying: "Migration is like rust that slowly but surely would consume Hungary".

Julia Ivan, director of Amnesty International's branch in Hungary, said civil society groups are "are fully aware of how government and politicians say their first move will be to adopt the "Stop Soros" legislation".

The surge in turnout was thought to likely favour the opposition Jobbik, a far-right party that has been moving towards the centre, and the centre-left Socialists. The Socialists came in third with 14%.

He said voter turnout would determine the outcome. In advance of the Brexit vote in June 2016, polls showed that Hungarian voters, second only to Poles, were the most supportive of Brussels in the entire 28-state bloc.

There is also a slight chance that the fragmented opposition could strip Fidesz of its parliament majority if voters frustrated with Mr Orban's policies choose tactical voting in the 106 constituencies.

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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