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Left ‘heading for its third defeat in a row’

July 31st, 2014
Analysing fresh opinion polls ten weeks before the municipal elections, right wing commentators predict another crushing right-wing victory. A left-wing think-tank believes that the Socialist Party and its allies have meagre chances of winning any time in the foreseable future.
 Both Ipsos, a left-wing polling institute and government sponsored Századvég have found that political preferences are basically unchanged since the spring elections, with Fidesz keeping its large lead and Jobbik a distant second, still ahead of MSZP, whose two allies lag far behind.  
On Válasz.hu (online version of Heti Válasz ), István Dévényi puts forward two explanations for the poor showing of the Left: the relentless rivalry among the potential allies  who have mostly made gains, if any, at each other’s expense, and the low popularity of their leaders. The front faces are only popular among their own rank and file while lacking appeal elsewhere, including among their allies. The only exception is József Tóbiás, the newly elected chairman of the MSZP, who has a low rating even among the Socialist constituency.
In Magyar Nemzet, Zsuzsanna Körmendy finds it remarkable that the government’s popularity has been intact for years now, and suspects that this is due to a great extent to the fact that the public is irritated by the continuous “left-liberal charades”, among which she mentions the protest staged around the monument to the victims of Nazi invasion (See BudaPost July 23).The left, Körmendy continues, bravely fights Fascism, without noticing that World War Two has been over for almost seventy years. As to the present, the only left-wing party that has substantially increased its popularity (from 3 to 6 per cent apparently) is the Democratic Coalition which is led by “a discredited politician, Ferenc Gyurcsány”. If the Left is unable to reckon either with its past, or its present, “what future is it going to have”?, she asks.
Policy Solutions, a left-liberal think-tank suggests that rather than Fidesz, the main opponent the Left must defeat is Jobbik. Analysing recent polls by regions and districts, Policy Solutions finds that the left wing has mostly shown some progress over the past few months in areas that have been dominated by Fidesz for each and every election since 2002. Meanwhile it has lost traditionally left-wing constituencies in eastern Hungary. They are dominated by Fidesz, because the bigger half of a potentially Socialist electorate has been won over by Jobbik.  Winning them back is absolutely indispensable if the Left intends to ever win an election again, Policy Solution says.

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