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Conflicting views on the demise of the Socialist Party

July 2nd, 2022

As pollsters consistently measure the MSZP beneath the 5 percent parliamentary threshold, a pro-government commentator declares that the Socialist Party is de facto defunct. A Socialist author, on the other hand, believes it is the key component of the opposition alliance.

The latest poll on party preferences by the pro-government Nézőpont Institute shows the Socialist Party adrift with just 1 percent of potential voters. The left-wing Závecz Research Centre, by way of contrast, puts the MSZP at 5 percent, while the liberal Medián polling company suggests that the Socialists are supported by 2 percent of the electorate.

In Magyar Nemzet, Levente Sitkei believes that this is the end of the road for the post-communist MSZP,  the biggest party in Hungary for more than a decade after the regime change. The party, he writes, has by now exhausted its material and intellectual resources and has been abandoned by its sponsors who see no point in supporting it. Sitkei thinks the disappearance of the Socialist Party will signal the definitive end of the regime change.

In Népszava, Gyula Hegyi, a journalist who served for decades as an MSZP MP and then Socialist MEP, dismisses as preposterous the idea that the MSZP is now defunct. On the contrary, during recent political campaigns, he suggests, at least 40 percent of opposition activists came from the ranks of the Socialist Party. The ‘media parties’ of the opposition, he writes, could not mount a single campaign without the MSZP. ‘We may not have pollster companies’, he remarks, ‘but we do have activists’.


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