The co-founder of Jobbik, now a Fidesz supporter, is sceptical about party leader Gábor Vona’s attempt to rebrand his party as a moderate political force.
Writing in Magyar Hírlap, Ervin Nagy – Gábor Vona’s closest ally in founding the radical right-wing party as a youth movement in the mid-2000s – appreciates Jobbik’s attempt to become a respectable player, but believes that conditions are not ripe for such a shift. West European radical parties in France and in Austria are successfully and cautiously moving toward the centre, but their success is due to the impotence of the ruling traditional big parties. In Hungary, by contrast, the popularity of Fidesz is still overwhelming, he suggests, and its policies leave little room for a more radical but still moderate party to come forward with new proposals. The fields in which the French Front National and the Austrian Freedom Party have been successful, namely in opposing immigration and same sex marriage, are not left unattended in Hungary, the author argues. Thus, Nagy suspects, Vona risks throwing out the baby with the bathwater – losing radically minded supporters without winning new, more moderate ones.