Having visited 102 of the 106 constituencies in Hungary, Péter Márki-Zay has toured the entire country over the campaigning period. The prime ministerial candidate of the opposition alliance (United for Hungary) focused on the countryside, and did not shy away from pro-Fidesz areas, visiting 44 constituencies multiple times, liberal news portal 444.hu reports.
Márki-Zay was especially thorough in his own constituency of Hódmezővásárhely, where he is running against János Lázár, and visited eleven of the constituencies’ nineteen settlements. He campaigned in Monor four times, making it his second most-visited constituency.
The opposition leader revisited 17 constituencies deemed Fidesz bastions more than once. These include, Gyula, Szentes, Balassagyarmat, and one of Kecskemét’s constituencies. 444.hu specified ten constituencies which the opposition would need to win in order to have majority in the Parliament. In two of these, Győr and Székesfehérvár, Márki-Zay personally campaigned three times each. Four of the ten, Eger, Nagykanizsa, Tiszavasvár, and Tiszaújváros, were campaigned in twice.
The United for Hungary leader did not focus much on Budapest, since the capital is known to mostly support the opposition. Instead he went to smaller towns and villages which have historically voted for the governing party.
Among the 44 constituencies which Márki-Zay visited twice, the voting preferences of 32 could go either way based on the 2018 election and the opposition’s expectations.
The leaders of the parties in the united opposition have been relatively laid back in their approach to campaigning, at least compared to Márki-Zay’s exhaustive tour. It is worth noting that Márki-Zay’s speeches have at times resulted in quite controversial statements. These have included calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Jeszenszky (the former conservative foreign minister of Hungary) twice and referring to pro-government journalists as being mentally handicapped, a statement for which he has since apologized to the disabled community.
Márki-Zay has clearly put a lot of energy into his campaign. In addition to the many interviews he gave, he has also made a point out of his willingness to have a debate with Fidesz’s Viktor Orbán, who has taken a very different approach to campaigning. Not only has the prime minister rejected Márki-Zay’s invitation for a debate, but he has focused his campaign on his supporters, speaking to them through private events and Facebook posts, avoiding government critical media, and limiting his communications to pro-government media circles.
Featured photo via Péter Márki-Zay’s Facebook page