Big win for Orban's party in Hungary EU vote

Budapest (AFP) –


The Fidesz party of Hungary's nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban scored a big win in European parliament elections, according to results published by Hungarian media on Sunday.

With 98 percent of the vote counted, Fidesz has won 52 percent according to the Magyar Nemzet newspaper, up from the 51 percent it won in 2014.

The left-wing Democratic Coalition (DK) is far behind in second place with 16.3 percent and the small liberal Momentum party is set to break into the European parliament for the first time with 9.7 percent.

The Socialists (MSZP) are on 6.6 percent, just ahead of the far-right Jobbik party which has suffered a dramatic drop from 15 percent in 2014 to just 6.5 percent.

The environmentalist LMP party is expected to lose its single MEP seat, out of 21 allocated to Hungary.

This election has also seen record turnout for a European election in Hungary, standing at 41.7 percent half an hour before polls closed.

That tops the previous record of 38.5 percent in Hungary's first European elections in 2004.

Fidesz was suspended from the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) grouping earlier this year because of the Hungarian government's anti-Brussels poster campaigns and Orban has not ruled out walking out of the group if it doesn't draw closer to right-wing populists like Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.