Though it is hard to tell whether on the whole this is an advantage or a handicap, it must be said that with some notable exceptions the Fidesz is nothing if not loyal to its top cadres. The man who now benefits from this loyalty, Fidesz's candidate for mayor of Budapest, István Tarlós, lost only once in his bid to oust the left from its most important stronghold. Even though he is not even a party member, he became the Fidesz party group leader in the city parliament and, in spite of some grumbling by strictly anonymous party leaders, he is again the mayoral candidate and is all but guaranteed a victory.
Nevertheless, it is clear that had it wanted to, Fidesz could have fielded a considerably stronger candidate. 5th district mayor Antal Rogán has four successful years as the central district’s leader behind him, and his overwhelming popularity was at display when he significantly outpolled his party in his electoral district. As far as political talent goes, Rogán stands out even in a party among whose greatest strengths is – especially as compared to the anemic opposition parties – the number of strong potential candidates for premiership who have achieved political visibility despite Orbán’s commanding control of the party.
Policy Solutions’ analysis on the Budapest mayoral election can be downloaded from here.
Policy Solutions is a progressive political research institute based in Budapest. It was founded in 2008 and it is committed to the values of liberal democracy, solidarity, equal opportunity and European integration. The focus of Policy Solutions’ work is on understanding political processes in Hungary and the European Union. Among the pre-eminent areas of our research are the investigation of how the quality of democracy evolves, the analysis of factors driving euroscepticism, populism and the far-right, and election research.
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