As a surprise to no one, Viktor Orbán wins the Hungarian General Election and secures his Fidesz party a third term in office, with himself at the helm of the most critical and outspoken member state of the European Union’s migration policy.
Opinion polls had shown support for the government, putting the nationalist-conservative party between 50 and 55 percent – consistently – from the beginning of the year. BBC analysts claimed that, due to the turnout, the opposition vote- and seat-shares would increase at Fidesz‘s expense. However, the final results have shown that although Viktor Orbán did increase his majority (as predicted by Politically Wasted) by three seats and the swing by well-over three percent, leaving the two main opposition parties – far-right Jobbik and the MSZP-Dialogue coalition – to win and lose one seat each respectively. It is the kind of result the likes of May, Merkel, and Macron can only dream of.
So, of course, the next question is “what will change”. This election was fought and won on migration – both immigration and emigration. While Hungary is skeptical of the European Union, it must be emphasised that this is not the same form of Euroskepticism we are used to seeing in the British political discourse. Fidesz – and Hungary, according to these election results – are generally accepting of EU, and even the official party line of Fidesz is that of soft-euroskepticism: not wishing to leave the bloc, but actively subverting one of its core tenets of free movement.
The opposition saw the electoral battleground focus on corruption, Orbán’s self-styled “illiberal democracy”, and public services – including healthcare. That Orbán has managed to increase his majority, and leave his opponents far, far behind in the polls, only adds fuel to the fire of corruption. It is this sort of seat difference that, after two terms or eight years in office, would begin to flag up accusations of vote-rigging and ballot box-stuffing elsewhere in the world. That Hungary is nestled safely within the EU, ironically both protects and threatens Hungary’s leader.