Budapest (MTI) – The results of the by-election in western Hungary’s Veszprem cannot be extrapolated to a national level, political analysts polled by MTI said.
Opposition left-wing candidate wins Veszprem by-election
Similarly, the result of another by-election at nearby Tapolca in April is impossible to predict from the election win of the independent candidate backed by the leftist parties in Veszprem, the analysts told a conference organised by the Republikon Institute on Tuesday evening.
Zoltan Kesz, the independent candidate backed by the left-wing parties won Sunday’s by-election in Veszprem with over 44 percent of votes cast. Lajos Nemedi, the candidate of the governing Fidesz-Christian-Democrat alliance, received just over 33 percent.
Agoston Mraz, senior analyst at Nezopont Institute, said one of the lessons of Sunday’s by-election in Veszprem was one of activity. The left had achieved better results at turning out the vote, while Fidesz was only able to get 40 percent of its earlier voters to go to the polls, Mraz said. For Jobbik this rate was 53 percent while the left got more votes than in the general election in spring last year, he said.
The left, “defying its traditions”, had appeared more united, he said. Internal disputes within Fidesz on the other hand had made government-loyal voters inactive, he added.
The campaign of the radical nationalist Jobbik party was weak as was their candidate, and the strategy of a more moderate “toned-down radicalism” did not succeed, Mraz said.
Tibor Zavecz, analyst at Ipsos, gave warning against interpreting the local by-election results at a national level. He said however that it is safe to say Fidesz had “probably lost hundreds of thousands of voters”. He also noted that earlier suggestions that the left had disappeared in rural areas and was ousted by Jobbik were not validated.
Julia Lakatos, analyst at the Meltanyossag Centre, noted that Fidesz had not lost a by-election in 14 years and said this trend was broken by by-election losses in Ujpest and Veszprem. The latter result she called a surprise, but said it was difficult to use this result for predicting the future. Lakatos said by-elections could “strengthen the quality of democracy” from time to time.