Four Recurrent Themes in the Interpretation of Municipal Election Results


On this occasion, our analysis examines four “recurrent themes” related to interpreting the results of municipal elections: the degree of the governing party’s victory, the situation of Jobbik, how parties’ support developed in the countryside, and the way LMP fared.

Fidesz-KDNP is the absolute winner of the municipal elections. In terms of proportions, this nationwide governing party success is most apparent at county level, i.e. based on county list votes cast directly in villages and towns without county rank. The holding together and successful mobilisation of the governing party’s core supporters is indicated by the fact that regarding proportions, the party alliance achieved a better percentage result in every county, in villages and towns without county rank than during parliamentary elections last spring, considering an identical base and reckoning with parliamentary list votes. Expectations were also eclipsed by Fidesz-KDNP ultimately winning absolute majorities in every county assembly, meaning that it will be able to pass decisions without any local coalition bargaining. Taking the 20 mandates it did in the Budapest Assembly also exceed preliminary forecasts.

In contrast, Jobbik could hardly be considered a winner in the elections or a true “contender” for the governing side. The party continues to remain weak in Budapest, the stage of national politics. At county level, i.e. considering the votes cast in villages and towns without county rank, it can indeed seemingly claim to be the second largest political force in the competition of parties, there is, however, a downside to this impression: the party would not have secured the runner-up position in the party contest everywhere on this basis as it did were we to add up votes cast on left-wing political forces. Additionally, Jobbik failed to compete with the ruling parties yet again, still opting to go up against the left, and it clearly profited from the weakness of the left-wing. Jobbik’s nationwide performance in relation to the left-wing is further overshadowed if one looks at the proportions of county votes and reckons with list votes cast in villages and towns without county rank, as the party achieved a worse percentage result in eighteen counties than in the parliamentary elections this April, on an identical basis. In other words, Jobbik has lost ground almost everywhere in terms of proportions at the said level compared to the spring.

Municipal elections may also impact the fight for dominance in the left-wing. It is clear that MSZP is twice as strong as DK at the level of villages and towns without county rank, the socialist party has thus stabilised its leading position in the left-wing at countryside level, while Együtt-PM practically does not exist outside Budapest. The newly established left-wing parties were unable to reach a breakthrough against the socialists in the countryside, and have no substantive basis in smaller settlements.

LMP’s results were also examined in connection with the municipal elections. LMP outdid the Együtt-PM alliance by more than 6 thousand county list votes despite the fact that it set up county lists in half as many counties (in just 5 counties, in contrast to the Együtt-PM’s 11 county lists). This also shows that the main loser in the municipal election was not LMP, but Együtt-PM, just like we forecast.

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