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LMP under left-wing pressure to co-operate with the DK

March 27th, 2018

In Népszava, Balázs Böcskei, the founding director of the IDEA Institute of Political Analyses and his colleague, Balázs Barkóczi argue that the green party is losing more than it gains by refusing to co-operate with the left, especially with Ferenc Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition (DK).

The LMP first ran in 2010 on a platform of keeping equidistant between the Left (Gyurcsány ran on the Socialist Party list at that time) and the Right. Polls place them at just above the parliamentary threshold. They have practically no chance of winning even one of the individual constituencies (out of 106), while passing the 5 per cent threshold with their party list would yield them about 7 seats in Parliament. So far, the LMP has withdrawn one candidate in Budapest in favour of Socialist Politician Ágnes Kunhalmi and another in favour of Jobbik’s Lajos Kepli in Veszprém County.

Two left-wing political analysts lambast the LMP for refusing to withdraw its candidates in favour of well-placed left-wingers in nearly all individual constituencies. They think that is a losing strategy and proves that LMP is not keen on defeating the incumbent government. In a poll performed by their Institute, over half of LMP voters said they were ready to vote for a strong anti-government candidate even if it means abandoning their own party, if it is weaker – which LMP candidates are almost everywhere. By sticking to their idea to never compromise with Ferenc Gyurcsány, the authors predict, they might lose a substantial portion of the electorate, while by striking electoral deals locally, they might gain additional votes in constituencies where the DK would withdraw in their favour. The leaders of the LMP have not yet decided, Böcskei and Barkóczi write, whether to prioritise bolstering their own position as a small party even at the price of sacrificing the chance of a change in government.

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