Hungary's Orban seeks third term in keenly-watched poll

Prime Minister Viktor Orban at his final electoral rally in Hungary

But the high turnout and Hungary's complex voting system complicated more exact predictions.

"Only a dramatic outcome of the election would force a significant shift in the direction of policymaking", Barclays said in a note. In 2014, the participation rate at the end of the day was 61.24 percent.

But he added that since all parties, including Fidesz, had mobilized intensively, it did not necessarily mean Orban was threatened with defeat.

Long lines could be seen outside several voting stations in Budapest, the capital city.

According to Orban and his ministers, Hungary will descend into chaos should it become an "immigrant country" like France or Belgium.

A poll on Friday put Fidesz on 46% among decided voters, more than 20 points ahead of their nearest rivals Jobbik, on 19%.

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

Some 8 million voters cast their votes in more than 10,000 polling stations from 6 am (0400 GMT) local time until 7 pm (1700 GMT). That was the highest turnout figure at that time since at least 1998.

With 69% of the votes counted, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his party have taken an early lead Sunday in the parliamentary election, according to the country's National Election Office.

More news: Duterte shuts 'cesspool' tourist isle for six months

A voter approaches ballot boxes at a polling station in Budapest.

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

Despite being on course for overall victory, analysts say Fidesz is likely to fall short of a third consecutive two-thirds "supermajority" in the 199-seat assembly that has allowed it to railroad through controversial bills.

High turnout may ultimately also hurt smaller opposition parties, because it would raise the number of votes needed to reach the 5 percent threshold to get into parliament.

"Unfortunately, for those on the right who are disappointed with Orban, there is no democratic conservative alternative like Germany's CDU or a French Macron-type party", said Paul Lendvai, a journalist and author of "Orban: Hungary's Strongman".

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

"Safety is first", said Julia Scharle, 27, holding her child outside the polling station where Orban cast his vote.

Hungary's ruling Fidesz party was facing calls for an inquiry into alleged electoral irregularities after the Telegraph revealed how the country's diplomatic corps was being pressed into finding negative immigration stories to boost Viktor Orban's re-election campaign.

He claims "that the European Union is not at Brussels". The EU is in Berlin, in Budapest, in Warsaw, in Prague and in Bucharest.

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