As voting in Hungary’s general election came to a close – exit polls were predicting victory for the centre-right Fidesz party.
Promising growth and jobs Fidesz under Viktor Orban, has campaigned on cutting taxes and supporting local businesses to boost the country’s economy.
He is up against Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai.
The country’s economy is contracting while unemployment soars, ideal recruiting conditions for the far-right Jobbik party which stands a chance of entering parliament for the first time.
Whipping up antagonsim against the Roma community and capitalising on the “feel bad” factor caused by budget cuts to combat the economic downturn, Jobbik managed to win three seats in the European parliament last year.
There will be a second round of voting on April 25 in constituencies where elected candidates fail to win a clear majority.
Economists say Fidesz will need to reduce a bloated local government sector and make the healthcare and education systems more efficient to put Hungary back on track towards sustainable and strong economic growth.