BUDAPEST, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Hungary on Sunday kicked off the seventh parliamentary election since the multiparty system was restored in 1990.
Polling started at 6 a.m. (0040 GMT) and will end at 7 p.m. (1700 GMT).More than 8 million eligible voters are expected to cast their ballots for one of 18 political parties and one of 1,531 individual candidates for Members of Parliament.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party and its small ally, the Christian Democrats, are widely expected to win re-election, and the only question raised by pundits is by what margin it will win.
Unofficial results, based on 95 percent of the vote, will be made public late Sunday night, as soon as the ballots are counted. Official results will not be announced until April 25, since the ballots cast by Hungarian citizens living abroad and voting by mail or at embassies will not be fully counted until that time.
A new electoral system debuts this year. The number of seats in parliament has been cut back from 386 to 199 and a two-round election system has been reduced to a single one.
Other contenders include a coalition of left-wing parties comprising the Socialists (MSZP) and four others, the far-right Jobbik party, and the small green party LMP.
Some pollsters believe that Jobbik might come in second, relegating the left-wing coalition to third place in the new parliament. Others question whether LMP, currently in parliament, will cross the 5 percent threshold.