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Budapest Mayor Demszky loses lead in mayoral race, Gallup says

Budapest Mayor Gábor Demszky has lost his lead over mayoral opponent István Tarlós in the run-up to Oct. 1 voting, dimming hope for a fifth-term re-election, a survey by Gallup showed. Some 37% of people polled said they'd vote for Tarlós in the mayoral election, compared with 35% percent support for Demszky and 8% of Kálmán Katona, Gallup reported on its Web site today. Tarlós, who says he is running as an independent candidate, is supported by Hungary's largest opposition party, Fidesz. Demszky, a member of the governing junior coalition member, the Free Democrats, is also backed by the ruling Socialists. Support for the governing Socialist Party and Free Democrats has waned in opinion polls following a series of measures by the government to raise taxes and energy prices to trim the European Union's largest budget deficit for euro adoption. Gallup polled 1,037 Hungarians between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 and results carry a 3% margin of error. 18% of the people polled could not or did not want to answer the question. Hungarians will vote for mayors and city councils in 3,200 towns and villages, and elect 19 county assemblies on Oct. 1. (Gallup)