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Hungary's Socialist party narrows gap with Fidesz

Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány's Socialist Party narrowed its gap behind opposition Fidesz to 2 percentage points, after support for Fidesz fell further in October, a survey by pollster Gallup showed. Socialists' support was 25%, from 26 % among eligible voters in September, while former Premier Viktor Orbán's Fidesz fell to 27% from 30% last month. Among those who said they will vote, 45 % backed the Socialists and 44 % chose Fidesz, Gallup said. Gyurcsány, who took office September last year after former Prime Minister Péter Medgyessy was forced out and Socialists' support sank to a three-year low, faces general elections in about seven months.

The Socialists last month began an image campaign and took out
ads in tabloids and lifestyle magazines to lure voters while Fidesz
auctioned off a car to participants in its opinion survey. Support for the Socialists' smaller coalition partner in the government, the Free Democrats, stood at 2%, unchanged from last month. The number of voters without a party preference rose to 41% from 39%. Gallup polled 1,010 Hungarians October 8-
13.