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Orban’s left-centre opposition is in shambles 9 months before elections

Some of the small "new left"-style parties are planning a joint, mass protest for August 20th, Hungary's national holiday, in support of investigative journalists who will become official targets of the Orbán government's vitriol in the coming months.

The small Együtt party is spearheading the demonstration along Budapest's Szabad Sajtó (Free Press) boulevard, with support from Zugló Mayor Gergely Karácsony of the Párbeszéd (Dialogue) party, Gábor Vágó of the Politics Can Be Different party (LMP), prominent left-wing activist Márton Gulyás and even former Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP) politician, Katalin Lukácsi, who quit her party in April. The government MP decided to break ranks with the Orbán regime over the Hungarian right's tasteless attacks against Pope Francis, the regime's destruction of Hungary's largest national newspaper, Népszabadság, and the attempted shuttering of Central European University. Ms. Lukácsi is now joining forces with the left.
While cooperation among small opposition parties of different political stripes is positive news, it may also be deceiving. Even if tens of thousands march in Budapest on August 20th, the fractured Hungarian left is further than ever from being prepared to jointly fight elections in April 2018, with Socialist leader László Botka even trading public insults with fellow Socialist politician Zsolt Molnár. Mr. Botka labelled Mr. Molnár a "traitor" and suggested that the MSZP MP was an "agent" of Fidesz. Mr. Molnár retorted that Mr. Botka's accusation could lead to a civil war within the Hungarian Socialist Party and he added that this type of accusation was reminiscent of the pre-1989 one party state.
While MSZP, still the largest party on the left, has decided to tear itself to shreds in public, right before national elections, former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány of the Democratic Coalition could not simply sit out the Socialist internecine warfare, especially after Mr. Botka also suggested that the smaller opposition parties were populated by incompetent politicians. Whilst Mr. Gyurcsány called for immediate unity among all left-centre opposition parties, he also published a photograph showing Mr. Botka, as mayor of Szeged, welcoming Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to his city. The implication was obvious: who is Mr. Botka to call anyone a traitor?
The most recent Tárki poll, taken before the politicians of the left decided to really go after each other's throats in public, suggest that Fidesz is almost certain to win a two-thirds parliamentary majority in April 2018.
Fidesz-KDNP increased their support in the entire population by two percent to 35 percent, and by four percent to 55 percent among those with a party preference.
The radical-right Jobbik, portraying itself as Fidesz's only true challenger in next spring's general election, stagnated in the last quarter despite party president Gábor Vona's effort to moderate the party's image. Jobbik still stands at 11 percent among the entire population, and 17 percent among those with a party preference.
The Socialist Party (MSZP) fell back by three percent and now stands at seven percent support in the entire population. The former governing party lost four percent of voters with a party preference in the same period and now stands at 11 percent.
Both center-left Democratic Coalition (DK) and green party Politics Can Be Different (LMP) shrank by several points among both the general population and those with a party preference, while social-liberal Együtt (Together) stagnated at one percent both among all voters and those with a party preference. Dialogue for Hungary (PM) still does not reach one percent among all voters, but has one percent among those with a party preference.
The newcomer Momentum Movement (MoMo) managed to increase its support by one percent both among all voters and those with a party preference and now stands at two and three percent respectively.
Undecided voters are still the largest group among voters with 36 percent.
The poll was conducted between July 14 and 23 on a 1017-person random national sample that represents the adult population of Hungary.

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 July 2017 20:49

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