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Slovakia opposition leading in preliminary election results

Exit polls had correctly predicted the party would get about 25% of the vote.

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The opposition Ordinary People and Independent Personalities party, whose leader Igor Matovic is shown snapping a selfie with a supporter, is leading the vote in Slovakia’s election (Petr David Josek/AP)

The opposition Ordinary People and Independent Personalities party, whose leader Igor Matovic is shown snapping a selfie with a supporter, is leading the vote in Slovakia’s election (Petr David Josek/AP)

The opposition Ordinary People and Independent Personalities party, whose leader Igor Matovic is shown snapping a selfie with a supporter, is leading the vote in Slovakia’s election (Petr David Josek/AP)

Slovakia’s conservative opposition has a comfortable lead in the country’s election, according to preliminary results.

The Ordinary People party had 24.8% or 52 seats in the 150-seat parliament, with votes from about 75% of the almost 6,000 polling stations counted by the Statistics Office.

The senior ruling leftist Smer-Social Democracy party led by former populist prime minister Robert Fico was in second place with 18.9% of the vote.

The result means Ordinary People would be able to create a majority government with three other centre-right parties and unseat Smer, the country’s long-dominant but scandal-tainted party.

In a further blow for Smer, preliminary results suggest Mr Fico’s current coalition partners, the ultra-nationalist Slovak National Party and a party of ethnic Hungarians, will not win any seats.

Slovakia’s local ally of France’s far-right National Rally party, the conservative populist group We Are Family, had captured 8.4% of the vote.

It was running neck and neck with an extreme far-right party whose members use Nazi salutes and which wants Slovakia out of the European Union and NATO.

PA