A right-wing analyst suggests that the victory of Fidesz in Sunday’s local election is symbolically important, while Ferenc Gyurcsány, whose party’s candidate came in a surprise second, calls for renewed left-wing cooperation.
The symbolic significance of the by-election held in Dunaújváros on Sunday is much bigger than its actual impact, Ágoston Sámuel Mráz writes in his impromptu analysis on Nezopontok.hu, an opinion blog maintained by the right-wing think tank Nézőpont Intézet.
The local election held in Dunaújváros on Sunday was won by Fidesz candidate Fruzsina Lassingleitner (with 36 per cent of the vote). The election was called because one of Fidesz’s municipal councillors was arrested on murder charges in February. The candidate of former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsany’s DK party came in a surprise second (with 21 per cent), while the MSZP candisate got only 8.5 per cent of the vote.
The author, who is the managing director of the think tank, notes that this victory puts an end to a bad series of electoral results for Fidesz (see BudaPost February 28th, 2015). He also asserts that claims by ‘pundits in Budapest’ that the combined votes for left-wing candidates (422) surpassed those cast for the Fidesz representative (405) are not necessarily true, as PM (84 votes) cannot be regarded as a purely left-wing party nor as part of a possible opposition party alliance in view of the 2018 parliamentary election.
In a press release on the DK website after the results came in, DK president Ferenc Gyurcsány accused the MSZP of securing Fidesz’s mandate by breaching an election agreement between the two parties (the MSZP did not back the DK candidate but campaigned on its own). Gyurcsány also called for renewed cooperation between left-wing parties to oust Fidesz and Viktor Orbán’s government.
In an analysis on Index on Friday before the election Szabolcs Dull suggested that rather than winning the election, the MSZP was seeking to defeat the DK candidate. The analyst suggested that the results would have a major impact on the election of the new MSZP leadership later this month (see BudaPost April 30th, 2016).