Crushing defeat for the Hungarian left

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán secured a strong mandate in Hungary’s general election. His Fidesz party performed better than predicted while the opposition performed worse.

Ivett Körösi
Ivett Körösi Nepszava, Hungary
Source: Nepszava
Crushing defeat for the Hungarian left - NewsMavens

Why this story matters:

The voter turnout at Sunday’s election was higher than it was during the first free elections of 1990. Everyone said that this would be a crucial vote, probably the most important in almost three decades. Analysts suggested a near-record participation would favor the opposition but, by the end of the night, it became clear that they were wrong.

The election was a crushing defeat to the parties on the left. To the majority of Hungarians, they do not represent an alternative to Fidesz.

Viktor Orbán was surprisingly moderate in his victory speech. But his tone should not fool anyone. He and the Fidesz party will use this election as an authorization to continue its anti-democratic rule that is based on fear and intimidation. With a two-thirds majority in parliament Fidesz will be able to pass any law it wants.

As Orbán said in an exclusive interview after the elections: “The fate of Hungary has probably been decided for decades.”

politics,illiberalism

Details from the story:

  • Voter turnout was 69.45%, the second highest since the first free elections were held. The record was 70.53% in 2002.
  • Five parties made it to the parliament: Fidesz-KDNP, Jobbik, MSZP-Párbeszéd, LMP, Demokratikus Koalíció.
  • With 95.1% of the votes counted, Fidesz is on track to secure 133 seats. The far-right Jobbik will have 26 seats and and the coalition of the socialists and Parbeszed will send 20 MPs to the 199-seat parliament.
  • Fidesz will most probably have the supermajority in parliament. The party last secured a two-thirds majority in the 2014 elections.
  • Fidesz was stronger in the small towns and villages while the opposition – mainly the left – performed well in the bigger cities.
  • Gábor Vona, leader of the far-right Jobbik offered his resignation, as did the president of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP).
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