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More comments on the opposition’s by-election disaster

June 29th, 2022

Commentators on both sides of the political divide describe the performance of opposition parties at 70 local elections on Sunday as derisory.

In Népszava, Miklós Hargitai finds it tragic that the opposition seems unable to mobilise 15 percent of the electorate, which would be sufficient to win elections with a low turnout hardly exceeding 20 percent (See BudaPost, June 28). He concedes that Fidesz has been able to do just that, with the result that it won most of the local council seats up for grabs. His main problem, however, is that he believes the opposition simply lacks a message that could attract voters to the polling stations. The left-wing commentator suggests opposition parties study the example of Ujpest, the lone Budapest district out of four where the opposition candidate was elected, then emulate methods of mobilisation that proved successful there.

In Magyar Nemzet, Tamás Pilhál, on the other hand, considers the Ujpest result not really encouraging for the opposition, since their April lead there has by now shrunk from 26 to 6 percent. All in all, he writes, Budapest seems to be re-conquerable for Fidesz.

In another story for the main pro-government daily, Soma Vizvári quotes conservative think tanks who give a more detailed picture of the by-election results than the one suggested by the official data. It turns out that in addition to its own 18 candidates, Fidesz supported another 14 throughout the country, of whom only four were defeated on Sunday.

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