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Fidesz retains lead in opinion poll

Hungary's opposition Fidesz Party retained its lead over Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány's governing Socialist Party in February, as support fell by the same amount for both sides, according to the pollster Gallup. Support for Fidesz, led by former premier Viktor Orbán, grew to 29% from 26%, while the Socialists declined to 26% from 29%, Gallup said.  

General elections are scheduled for April 9. Smaller parties like junior coalition member, the Free Democrats' Alliance, and the opposition Hungarian Democratic Forum increased their support. Still, government supporters are more likely to vote, which would result in a tie between the Socialists and Fidesz, the pollster said.

Among likely voters with a party preference, the Socialists had 42.1% support, to 41.7% for Fidesz. The Free Democrats had 5.8% in this group, with the Democratic Forum at 4.4%. Each party needs to gather at least 5% to gain representation in parliament.