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Two takes on the EU elections

June 12th, 2024

A pro-government pundit ridicules commentators who see the European elections as a setback for Fidesz. A left-wing analyst praises Péter Magyar for his performance but warns that he must improve his skill at facing critics.

In Magyar Nemzet, Zsolt Bayer finds it typical of the opponents of the government to portray what he calls the overall victory of Fidesz in the European elections as a defeat. In reality, he writes, Fidesz was supported by a record number of (just over two million) voters, 200 thousand more than in the previous European election. (In 2019, Fidesz won 52.6 per cent, with 1.84 million votes on a lower turnout. In the Parliamentary election in 2022, Fidesz received just over 3 million votes.) The 44.5 percent score means that if Sunday’s vote had been a parliamentary election, Fidesz would have won over two thirds of the seats in the National Assembly, Bayer writes.

In Népszava, Attila Tibor Nagy welcomes the appearance of a new popular leader on the opposition side, in the person of Péter Magyar who won just under 30 percent of the popular vote last Sunday with his new TISZA party, with 1,34 million votes. He spent the 45 days of his campaign touring the country and speaking to large crowds in some 200 settlements, Nagy remarks, adding that opposition leaders usually put way less effort into their campaigns. He also mentions Magyar’s talents as an orator and his undeniable charisma among the public. However, Nagy warns, Magyar is a lot less successful in televised interviews, although that is an indispensable skill for any politician to be successful. (On Monday night, Magyar walked out of a live interview on ATV after a verbal clash with the host.)

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