Hungary's Euroskeptic leader Orban takes early lead in election

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The alliance of the left-wing Socialist and Dialogue parties had 11.8 percent, meaning it would have 19 deputies in parliament. Some party leaders have said near-record turnout of around 70 percent would probably strip Orban of his parliamentary majority.

"Migrants should not come here, and this (Fidesz') economic policy should continue", said Janos Dimovics, a pensioner who came from his village to see Orban. A splintered opposition and Hungary's complex electoral system make it hard to predict the expected margin of victory for Fidesz.

"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.

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

Orban is favored to win a third consecutive mandate, with polls showing support for his Fidesz party roughly equal to the combined opposition.

Polls predicted his populist, right-wing Fidesz party would win a majority in the 199-seat legislature. Analysts say a high turnout favors the opposition, especially Jobbik.

"We love our country and we are fighting for our country". In contrast, the turnout was only 61.7 percent in the last election, in 2014, which gave him a massive victory. Opposition parties are keen to make sure that Orban's bloc does not sweep to a supermajority in which the autocratic leader could easily push through more constitutional changes. "This means either an overwhelming support for Orban or the end of Fidesz as (the) omnipotent political party in Hungary".

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Boros said in a tweet: "The Hungarian political landscape will dramatically change today".

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".

Data at 16:30 GMT from the National Election Office showed voter turnout of 68% - around nine points higher than at the same point in the 2014 election.

"I will take part in mobilising the voters".

Long lines of voters waited to cast ballots at some Budapest polling stations.

Who are the opposition parties?

Gabor Vona of the nationalist Jobbik party urged his supporters not to become complacent.

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A man in the capital, Budapest, said he hopes the ruling party will win.

Vona said: "I feel a surprise and a Jobbik breakthrough can be expected in the election".

In the past few years, Vona, who has been party chairman since 2006, has pushed the party to abandon its frequently anti-Roma and anti-Semitic views and toward more a mainstream conservative direction.

He said voter turnout would determine the outcome. According to the National Election Office, 13.17 percent of eligible voters had cast ballots by 9 a.m. (0700GMT), while in 2006 turnout was 11.39 percent at the same hour. Orban is due to speak soon, deputy prime minister Zsolt Semjen said.

Orban, who voted with his wife at a Budapest school near their home, told a crowd of reporters that he will "respect the decision" of the Hungarian voters.

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

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