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Bipolar party system is likely to stay

April 27th, 2012

A centrist analyst suggests that two years after the last election, no major realignment of the party system appears to be in sight, and the next election will be dominated once again, he believes, by the governing centre-right Fidesz and the Socialists – the same parties which have been competing for power since 1998.

Two years ago, in the aftermath of Fidesz’s landslide victory in the parliamentary election, analysts predicted that the Hungarian party system would soon change completely, Gábor Török writes. Some expected that the far-right Jobbik party would challenge Fidesz from the right, while others speculated that a new major party would emerge on the left, replacing the MSZP, Török reminds his readers. But neither of these predictions seem to have materialized.

According to a recent opinion poll by TÁRKI, Fidesz maintains its firm lead, and would get 39 per cent of the votes, while the MSZP would get 25 per cent. Far-right Jobbik seems to have lost momentum, and would be supported by 16 per cent, roughly the same as in the 2010 election. The LMP is supported by the 10 per cent of decided voters, while Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition stands at 6 per cent.

Török believes that the 2014 election will again be marked by a competition between Fidesz and the Socialists. On the far-right, Jobbik has no real chance of becoming a rival to the governing centre-right coalition, and will therefore be even more marginalised, a fringe party trying to woo protest votes from a radical leaning electorate dissatisfied with the current government, Török speculates. The LMP has not succeeded in significantly increasing its support, and seems unlikely to replace MSZP as the leader of the left.

Török finds it interesting that the MSZP has not lost support after Gyurcsány quit – on the contrary, it seems that with Gyurcsány’s departure, the Socialists freed themselves of the controversial heritage and divisive image of the former Prime Minister.

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