Migration dominates in run-up to Hungary's election

Access to the comments Comments
By Damon Embling
Migration dominates in run-up to Hungary's election

Immigration is a hot topic in the run-up to Hungary's election, and a point of contention with Brussels.

In the streets, you can find a billboard photo that echoes the days of the Brexit campaign - depicting migrants "flooding in." 

Viktor Orban's Fidesz party has used the issue to occupy the far right ground while the traditional far-right Jobbik re-brands itself as more centrist.

"What Jobbik represents today is much more like the old Fidesz and what Fidesz represents is much more like the old Jobbik. A changing of places has occurred," commented Gabor Vona, Jobbik's candidate for prime minister.

The shifting of far-right parties is accompanied by a fractured Socialist opposition.

That's something, according to one analyst, which allows the immigration issue to flourish at the expense of others.

"As long as the opposition is in a fragmented state and split up and the votes are dispersed, this migrant/refugee campaign is sufficient to keep the voting base united, to keep it mobilised and to constantly fuel it (the current government)," said Balazs Bocskei, a political analyst at the IDEA Institute, a Budapest think-tank.

Orban's focus on migration, much like the Brexit battle, appears to be a vote winner - as Hungarians prepare to go to the polls.