Several scenarios could result from the split between the Democratic Coalition platform led by former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány and the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) under party chairman Attila Mesterházy. Gábor Filippov, an analyst at political research institute Progresszív Intézet, told left-liberal daily Népszabadság that both the splinter party and MSZP would lose out in the battle for left-wing voters.
“Based on our current knowledge, we regard the idea that the Democratic Coalition could in the foreseeable future gather under its roof the opposition forces opposed to Orbán, including the liberal and liberal-conservative voters that have lost their political home since the demise of the SZDSZ [Alliance of Free Democrats] and the MDF [Hungarian Democratic Forum], in the foreseeable future as no more than wishful thinking,” Filippov said. The analyst noted that Gyurcsány is one of the politicians most despised by the public today. He enjoys relative popularity above all among the core voters of the MSZP. “The two left-wing forces, between which no clear ideological differences can be discerned as yet, will be targeting the same voter circles, causing both to weaken,” Filippov said. He recalled that Mesterházy at his election as party chairman last year had defined the most important goals as preserving party unity, a shift to the left and the renewal of the party. Barely a year after his election the MSZP has become irreversibly disunited, while ideological and organisational renewal has been hindered by precisely those efforts made to preserve party unity. Filippov said that in view of the situation, “it is undoubtedly less likely Mesterházy will remain party chairman after the 2012 party conference”.
Political scientist Zoltán Vasali takes the view that despite the split of the MSZP and the associated conflicts, the problem remains manageable. The two parties have not fallen out irreconcilably either at the negotiating table or over the question of the family silver. However, both the MSZP and DK could find that the last year spent on their tug-of-war may well leave them with insufficient time to prepare for the next election. Vasali said Gyurcsány and Mesterházy wish to win over undecided voters of a similar political mindset, which is why they are more likely to be opponents than alliance partners. He said Gyurcsány is running out of steam. The most important question is whether Csaba Molnár is capable of selling a socially sensitive but market-friendly ideology to voters, Vasali said.
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 November 2011 11:18