BUDAPEST, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban suffered a stinging defeat in a by-election on Sunday when his party Fidesz lost by a significant margin, just weeks before the general elections.
Hungarian analysts saw the election as a grand rehearsal before the general elections on April 8, when Viktor Orban would seek a third consecutive term.
The independent candidate Peter Marki-Zay, supported by all of the opposition parties, won the by-election held to elect the mayor of Hodmezovasarhely with 57.49 percent of votes against only 41.63 percent for Zoltan Hegedus, the Fidesz candidate.
This result is a huge surprise given that this small town in southern Hungary is the stronghold of a strong man from Orban, Janos Lazar, the Minister of Prime Minister's Office.
The participation of over 62 percent envisaged the possibility of a victory for the opposition, which had united for this occasion.
In the last local elections in 2014, Fidesz easily triumphed with 61 percent of the vote, followed by the radical Jobbik (17.1 percent) and Socialist MSZP (14.9 percent).
"The defeat of Fidesz in Hodmezovasarhely can break the myth of Fidesz's invincibility. The biggest problem for Fidesz is that now, opposition voters received faith: so they will go to the elections in bigger numbers," an early analysis of the online independent political portal Merce.hu said.
Earlier all polls suggested an easy victory for Fidesz in the forthcoming elections.