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Four weeks until the election

March 12th, 2018

A month before the April election, analysts from right across the political spectrum find it impossible to predict the outcome of the vote. The opposition may stop Fidesz from securing a majority, but it is also possible the Fidesz will win two-thirds of the seats in Parliament once again.

Gábor Török deems it unlikely that the opposition can broker a comprehensive deal and line up behind joint single-seat district candidates. Two weeks after the opposition’s victory in the Hódmezővásárhely, opposition expectations are high, but Török thinks separate party interests will prevent potential allies from withdrawing all or most of their candidates in each other’s favour. While the opposition parties all want to stop Fidesz from gaining a majority in the House, he explains, they are also competing with each other for the leadership of the opposition. Török suspects that the opposition may cooperate only in a few districts. Voters, however, may decide to support the strongest opposition candidate regardless, he adds. If they do so, Fidesz may not win enough seats to govern, but on the other hand, if opposition votes are divided, Fidesz may have a two-thirds majority yet again, Török concludes.

In Heti Válasz, Bálint Ablonczy thinks that the opposition will cooperate in 60 to 65 districts. The conservative columnist, however, doubts if the majority of the supporters of the opposition parties would be willing to vote for joint candidates. Ablonczy recalls a recent poll by the Závecz Resarch Institute according to which only 20 per cent of Jobbik voters would support left-wing candidates, and only 25 per cent of left-wing Hungarians would vote for Jobbik candidates. This, however, may still be enough for the opposition to defeat Fidesz candidates, but only in some districts, Ablonczy believes. Nevertheless, he doesn’t rule out changes in party strategies which might occur any time until the last days of the campaign.

Magyar Demokrata’s editor-in-chief András Bencsik assumes that Fidesz and the opposition stand neck and neck in the opinion polls. The pro-government commentator thinks that the current government has been successful in strengthening the economy and increasing welfare. Bencsik accuses the Left of making demagogic welfare promises, and fears that a victory of the opposition would amount to a catastrophe. If the Left wins, they will allow migrants into the country, destroy all the achievements of the Orbán government and impoverish Hungary, Bencsik writes.

In 168 Óra, Péter N. Nagy looks back on the past eight years and thinks that the government has failed to fulfil some of its promises. The left-wing pundit acknowledges that under the Orbán government, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created. Nagy claims that all this is primarily the result of the improving European economic outlook rather than an achievement of the government. Nagy also criticises the government for failing to introduce improvements in the education system and to reverse the emigration of doctors. Most importantly, Nagy believes, the incumbent government has failed to investigate corruption under the previous Socialist-Liberal governments. He hopes that if Fidesz is defeated in April, the new government will be more determined to go after corruption.