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Left-wing parties still competing

March 27th, 2013

Commentators evaluating the results of the weekend snap elections in four municipalities suggest that the opposition parties are unlikely to become a real match for the governing Fidesz-KDNP alliance any time soon.

All four snap elections which took place on Sunday were won by Fidesz candidates. In Dunaújváros, the MSZP and Together 2014 ran separately, and their competition was seen as the first real battle between the two main left-wing parties for the leadership of the opposition. The Fidesz candidate won with 563 votes. The Together 2014 candidate came in second with 249, followed by Jobbik (168 votes) and the MSZP (153 votes).

The results show that Hungarians are more concerned with welfare than the alleged anti-democratic turn, Szabolcs Szerető comments in Magyar Nemzet. The pro-government columnist believes that the Fidesz candidate got more votes than the two left-wing opposition candidates combined, as a result of the recent cut in utility prices, which the opposition parties like to label as populist (see BudaPost March 25). The Dunaújváros election also suggests that the competition for the leadership of the left is still open, Szerető notes.

In an interview with 168 Óra, liberal political analyst Zoltán Lakner says that the opposition parties are not as efficient at mobilising their potential supporters as Fidesz. The reason, he thinks, is that they lack both a proper organizational infrastructure and proper political messages. Lakner believes that the rivalry between Together 2014 and the MSZP may easily deepen the sense of polarization and distrust among the left-wing parties, which could make future cooperation harder to broker. And without their cooperation, Fidesz cannot realistically be defeated at the next election, Lakner concludes.

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