Commentary for LSE Europp on the Hungarian EP2014 Results

Originally Published by LSE Europp : 23 May 2014. Original linked here.

The elections in Hungary were a symbol of the population’s continued disappointment with the inability of the liberal-left opposition forces to unite

The Hungarian European Parliamentary election results are an accurate reflection of the majority population’s continued support of right wing and radical right parties on the one hand, and disappointment and disillusionment with liberal and left wing party options on the other.

On Sunday, Hungary witnessed a record low turnout for the European Parliamentary elections at a mere 28 per cent, just one month after the country’s national elections.  Ruling party Fidesz, who currently hold a supermajority in government, became the only party in Europe to gain an absolute majority in this year’s EP elections with 51.49 per cent (12 seats).

However, equal attention was given to radical right party, Jobbik who gained 14.68 per cent  (3 seats) making them the strongest opposition party in Hungary. Jobbik’s electoral victory came despite recent allegations against Jobbik EP candidate Bela Kovacs, who was accused in the national conservative paper, Magyar Nemzet, of spying for Russia against the European Union – allegations denied by Kovacs. The strongly Eurosceptic radical nationalist party sends Kovacs along with Zoltán Balczó and Krisztina Morvai (who has caused frequent controversy over her openly anti-Semitic remarks) to the European Parliament, with the aim of changing the EU into a ‘looser coalition’. Jobbik Chairman, Gábor Vona, commented on the success of Eurosceptic parties EU-wide saying that they proved ‘all of us would like to have a common Europe but something totally different from what is offered to us now’.

Meanwhile, the disunity of liberal and left wing parties continued. The Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), who led the Hungarian government between 2002 and 2010, faced a crushing defeat, gaining only 10.92 per cent (2 seats). Other opposition parties shared equally poor results, a symbol of the population’s continued disappointment with the inability of the liberal-left opposition forces to unite.

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