Hungary’s political landscape looks poised to change in today’s elections. A Conservative comeback, a rout for the ruling Socialists and a breakthrough for the far-right are all being forecast.
The country’s complex two-round election system makes it hard to predict the allocation of parliamentary seats. But opinion polls give every
reason to believe that Viktor Orban’s centre-right opposition party Fidesz is headed for a landslide. It would mark a return to power for Orban, who was prime minister from 1998 to 2002.
Since then, the Socialists have served two consecutive terms. But their candidate for the premiership, Attila Mesterhazy, is expected to be punished for painful budget cuts that have alienated many voters.
The nationalist Jobbik party could emerge as the second biggest parliamentary force. Capitalising on public anger over economic hardship and antagonism towards the Roma minority, it won three seats in the European Parliament last year. The far-right political movement is now expected to enter Hungary’s parliament for the first time.