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Analysis of Primaries: Balance Among Potential Winners but DK and Jobbik Can Hope for More

Hungary Today 2021.09.16.

Besides a virtual balance in potential candidates, current situation predicts the likelihood of Jobbik and Democratic Coalition (DK) to come out better in the primaries, according to 21 Research Center’s recent analysis on the joint opposition primaries. The liberal-leaning institute also foresees four major blocks in the opposition (win or lose) for the post-election period.

The analysis has divided the 106 electoral districts into three main groups:

  • 41 are projected to go for Fidesz-KDNP
  • 30 for the opposition
  • 35 battlegrounds.

Jobbik’s dominance in the primaries

As for the primaries, the analysis predicts Jobbik to bag the most victories (34). The right-wing party would be followed by DK (29), Momentum (20), MSZP (11), Párbeszéd (7), then LMP (5).

Somewhat true to the party’s image, Jobbik will be strong in the small, rural town and village districts. But these are where the ruling forces are the strongest too, meaning that at the general elections Jobbik will have a tough time to maintain this advantage. Anyhow, in the event of the opposition’s landslide victory in 2022, they can emerge as the strongest party.

DK is predicted to claim the best performance in the cities with county rights, while Momentum is most likely to win in Budapest and its agglomeration. Unlike Jobbik, both parties might expect a similar proportion of victories in the difficult, swing, and easier districts.

Meanwhile, MSZP-Párbeszéd and LMP can mostly rely on their representatives who already won back in 2018 (9 and 1 such lawmakers respectively).


Opposition, Fidesz-KDNP neck and neck

Out of six surveyors’ latest surveys, four (liberal-leaning Republikon, ZRI-Závech, IDEA, and left-leaning Publicus) polled a slight opposition advantage among the total population. Only Medián (usually the most reliable one) and pro-Fidesz Nézőpont found Fidesz-KDNP to be in the top position in this aspect. (Other/don’t know/won’t vote ratio range from 13-28%.)

In regard to active voters on the other hand, IDEA and Nézőpont found that Fidesz is in the lead, but ZRI-Závech and Republikon found otherwise. (Other/don’t know/won’t vote ratio range from 2-8%).

Additional predictions and remarks from the analysis

  • None of the opposition parties will dominate the others in the primaries- each of them can expect to bag individual constituencies and then set up a parliamentary group roughly in proportion to their voter base.
  • If the three parties backing Gergely Karácsony for prime minister (MSZP, Párbeszéd, LMP) are considered one bloc, then roughly four major opposition parties are outlined for the post-primaries period, all four similar in size and strength.
  • As a consequence, none of them can be left out of a possible governing coalition, and any of them would be able to block a parliamentary majority.
  • The tight race between the ruling forces and the opposition involves the members of the opposition alliance becoming mutually dependent in the campaign. A potentially poor performance of one of the four blocs would already put a government change in danger.
  • A low turnout at the primaries would favor Democratic Coalition. Among the less-committed opposition voters, Klára Dobrev is the most rejected candidate.
  • Despite Fidesz-KDNP’s campaign (whose narrative depicts the opposition primaries as a theater, where everything is done through background deals), there will be a real contest in the overwhelming majority of the constituencies. In addition, deals and withdrawals actually made the race tight in many places. For example, in Szombathely, without withdrawals in favor of LMP’s Péter Ungár, DK’s Csaba Czeglédi could have claimed an easy victory.
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featured image: Jobbik’s president and PM candidate Péter Jakab campaigning for LMP’s Péter Ungár in Szombathely; illustration via Ungár’s Facebook page

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