What was perhaps an even bigger surprise than Fidesz-KDNP’s landslide victory and the opposition alliance’s shocking defeat, is Mi Hazánk’s (Our Homeland) performance. After 99% of votes counted, the far-right party has claimed 6.17%, landing them seven seats in the new National Assembly. While several of the party’s ideological principles are similar to those of ruling Fidesz, we will definitely hear more radical statements in the next four years.
A black horse with no allies before the elections
In the early stages of the party, the media and forces under Fidesz’s influence indeed favored Mi Hazánk’s politicians, partly in order to portray Jobbik as dishonest, which at the time of the partybreakup, was seen as Fidesz’s main rival. Indeed, Mi Hazánk politicians were regularly invited on public media unlike opposition politicians, and the party has had the chance to advertise on the billboards owned by pro-Fidesz businessmen. Radical György Budaházy, who is close to Mi Hazánk’s circles, was also speaking about potential cooperation between the two sides back in 2019.
This was not the case before the elections. Although Fidesz didn’t wage an open battle against Mi Hazánk, the party wasn’t allowed to advertise itself on the pro-Fidesz media outlets and they only received some 26 advertising billboards out of 10,000 owned by Publimont, an advertising company with a Fidesz background.
FactIn fact, a Medián survey from January (at the peak of the coronavirus and restrictions) was the only one to have put Mi Hazánk above 5%, although most pollsters thought they stood a chance, regularly polling them around 2-4%.
Main campaign messages
While during the coronavirus outbreak, they were reticent, Mi Hazánk eventually kicked-off their electoral campaign by taking a tough stance against mandatory vaccination (which was not on the agenda, expect for teachers and healthcare staff) and restrictions, often surprisingly taking a libertarian attitude. Meanwhile, the opposition alliance had often urged the government for stricter measures.
Then came the government’s announcement to postpone the third vaccination obligation. On top of that, at the beginning of March, the government revoked virtually all coronavirus-related restrictions. Many would have thought that the wind would be knocked out of the radical party’s sails.
Afterwards, the party had been campaigning with a pro-sovereignty stance protesting against Hungarian soldiers to be sent elsewhere outside the Hungarian border, and for banning NATO soldiers entering Hungary.
Former Jobbik voters went to Mi Hazánk?
On Sunday evening (before the first results were published), political analyst Gábor Török was already speculating about (the formerly far-right) Jobbik voters’ preferences. After the results, he wasn’t the only one already suggesting that the opposition may have eventually lost Jobbik voters to the benefit of ruling Fidesz and/or Mi Hazánk (whose core and main politicians left Jobbik after its centrist turn).
Indeed, Jobbik’s voters in its heydays had around 1 million voters, while Mi Hazánk has now bagged some 318,000 votes, and Fidesz also claimed more votes than expected.
And if we take a look around the constituencies, Mi Hazánk was on fire in districts where Jobbik was strong previously (including, but not limited to Bács-Kiskun’s, Csongrád-Csanád’s, Nógrád’s and Borsod’s certain constituencies). Meanwhile, Fidesz also got more votes than expected, somewhat confirming Török’s suggestions.
Mi Hazánk promised to be a “tough opposition” against ruling Fidesz. But what can we expect?
- To hear more of the slogan: “Hungary is for the Hungarians” (“Magyarország a magyaroké”)
- Definitely a more radical stance on migration. The party would provide border guards with the right to shoot at illegal migrants at the Southern borders in case of illegal border trespass attempts, for example. They would also ban immigration altogether.
- Globalization criticism often spiced up with conspiracy theories and covert antisemitism: “the global elite, Soros network, the Rotschilds,” are often mentioned by Mi-Hazánk politicians.
- While Fidesz is continuously criticizing its Western allies, Mi Hazánk will be even louder on that topic: Mi Hazánk would ban NATO soldiers from entering Hungary and would not allow Hungarian soldiers to be sent past the borders.
- In another “sovereignist” measure, they would set up some 700 large food businesses in a year. The first one has already opened in the Toroczkai-led Ásotthalom. The plan is that they will be profitable in two years and only Hungarians will be able to work in them.
- In Mi Hazánk’s view, after a “bio-weapon” (coronavirus), now a 3rd World War is a threat, which would be fought between Russia and the global multinational companies+ the USA.
- More exclusionary and racist stances in politics: they would ban Budapest Pride for example, or speaking of roma-crime etc. Earlier, the party even said they would revoke all roma-bound monies, e.g. roma convergence program.
- despite all this, the party visibly pays a special attention not to step over that “red line” in radicalism neither physically nor verbally, at least to Hungarian standards.
On the other hand, it will definitely weaken their position that Fidesz (with which the party shares several ideological principles) has claimed the two-third majority, meaning that the ruling side will be able to push through anything they want on their own once again.
featured image: the setup of new paramilitary organization ‘National Legion’ by Mi Hazánk in 2019; illustration via Márton Mónus/MTI