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Opposition wins Dunaújváros by-election

February 19th, 2020

A liberal commentator interprets the opposition victory in the Dunaújváros Parliamentary by-election as proof that opposition voters have no qualms in supporting any joint candidate, regardless of their ideological leaning.

On Sunday, Gergely Kálló, the joint candidate of the opposition parties, won the Parliamentary by-election in the city of Duanújváros with 56 per cent of the votes cast, followed by the independent candidate supported by the governing parties who received 38 per cent of the vote. In the 2019 autumn local election, when turnout was nearly twice as high as on Sunday, the opposition candidate Tamás Pintér (Jobbik) got 56 per cent, while the Fidesz-KDNP candidate came in second with 41 per cent. The by-election took place because Pintér preferred to serve as mayor, and the law forbids an MP to also hold the post of mayor.

444.hu’s Péter Magyari interprets the Dunaújváros result as clear proof that opposition voters are willing to support any joint opposition candidates, regardless of their ideological affiliations. The liberal commentator notes that Kálló was supported by left-wing and liberal voters although he started his political career in the far-right MIÉP party. Magyari adds that the Dunaújváros by-election was the first instance when the opposition unanimously lined up behind a single candidate in a Parliamentary ballot. He concludes by suggesting that the same strategy could work in the 2022 Parliamentary election as well.

On Klubrádió, political analyst Zoltán Lakner cautioned against generalizing the impact of local electoral results. He said while the case of Dunaújváros might suggest that the opposition is on its way to win the 2022 parliamentary elections, the opposite conclusion could be drawn from the result of the Győr mayoral by-election (see BudaPost January 29).

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