(Last Updated On: October 13, 2019)

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungarian opposition challenger Gergely Karacsony looked on track to defeat ruling party incumbent Istvan Tarlos in the Budapest mayoral election on Sunday, preliminary results showed.

With 74.4% of votes counted, Karacsony had 50.1% support compared with 44.8% for Tarlos according to data on the National Election Office website, putting the Hungarian opposition on track for its biggest political win in a decade.

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Opposition parties were also projected to win a majority in the Budapest General Assembly with 17 members, compared with 14 delegates from Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrat alliance and two independents.

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Budapest is home to about a fifth of Hungary’s population of 10 million, but it is responsible for more than a third of its economic output and plays an outsized role in all walks of national life.

Sunday’s nationwide local elections were seen as a key test of an opposition strategy of rallying behind a single candidate against Fidesz, which has scored seven consecutive landslide election wins since 2010 on the national, municipal and European levels.

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Opposition parties have united behind joint candidates in some other big cities as well.

(Reporting by Gergely Szakacs and Marton Dunai; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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