István Kovács, strategic director of the Centre for Fundamental Rights, said “Sunday’s outcome was decided under clean and fair conditions,” adding that the election system had “functioned perfectly”. This meant that Hungary’s next parliament and prime minister would have “very strong legitimacy”. Rather it was the prime ministerial candidates that were the decisive factor in the performance gap between the two sides, Kovács said, arguing that not a single survey indicated that the war in Ukraine was the singular factor behind Fidesz’s victory.
Kovács said Márki-Zay’s shortcomings as a PM candidate had quickly come to the surface after he clinched the opposition nomination. “He’s not actually a category A politician,” Kovács said of Márki-Zay. “His qualities were far weaker than what the left had expected of him.”
Nezőpont Institute’s director Ágoston Mráz said that never before had a government received such a strong mandate by voters in a democratic election in Hungary. Mráz noted that the opposition had captured 35 percent of the vote, down from 45 percent in 2010, adding that the opposition had lost three out of every ten voters compared with 2018. He said he believed opposition voters had not wanted to see Márki-Zay as prime minister, while voters who were not Fidesz supporters but had been satisfied with PM Orbán’s performance ultimately ended up voting for the ruling parties. Mráz said the opposition’s strategy of fielding a single candidate in each individual constituency had only worked in Budapest.
Photo credit: MTI