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Jobbik loses a third of its voters

December 6th, 2018

A pro-government pundit thinks the formerly radical right-wing party is losing support because of its drift towards liberal and centrist positions which make its profile unrecognizable.

In Magyar Idők, political scientist Tamás Fricz compares Jobbik’s demise to the slow death of Hungary’s Liberal party, the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ). The liberal leaders founded their party on a tough anti-communist platform and came a strong second in the first free elections in 1990. Four years later they allied themselves with the post-communist MSZP, he continues, and consequently lost their party’s autonomous character. By 2006, they had disappeared from the scene altogether. The reason, Fricz explains, is that politics should not be seen as a consumers‘ market where one must constantly sell new products.  In politics, people value constancy and character. Fidesz also changed their course from liberalism in the early 90s to right-wing conservatism by the 2000s, he recalls, but they have remained sternly anti-Communist throughout. Jobbik’s ideas and rhetoric were too radical for Fidesz, he explains, but many in the governing party did hope that with time it might become a valuable ally. Instead, Jobbik leader Vona decided that he would transform his party into an all-encompassing centrist formation in order to attract a majority of Hungarian voters. Since the latest elections last Spring, when they reaped 19 per cent of the popular vote, their electoral base has shrunk to 13 per cent and several prominent figures have set up their own radical party, A mi hazánk (Our homeland). By then, Vona had resigned and Jobbik is now led by second rate MPs with no hope of achieving much in politics in the future, Fricz remarks.

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