EU elections: a hammering for Orbán?

In Hungary, Viktor Orbán's ruling Fidesz party's share of the vote dropped to 45 percent in the European elections, while his rival Péter Magyar's newly founded Tisza party secured 30 percent. Commentators have different takes on the result.

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Der Standard (AT) /

A political earthquake

The voters have punished Orbán, journalist Paul Lendvai comments in Der Standard:

“The political and moral winner of the European elections in Hungary is newcomer Péter Magyar, who garnered almost a third of the votes and seven mandates (out of 21) with his new Tisza party. In the space of three months the 43-year-old lawyer and diplomat has managed to mobilise more than a million voters without an apparatus and without media to back him, and despite the Orbán regime's smear campaign. He rightly spoke of a 'political earthquake'. ... Viktor Orbán has been 'punished' by Hungarian voters.”

Magyar Nemzet (HU) /

This is not a defeat

Some journalists are trying to cast the Fidesz election victory as a defeat, complains the pro-government Magyar Nemzet:

“If you're a governing party in this country, have governed with a two-thirds majority for 14 years and won every election since autumn 2006, you can't really win. In this election, for example, when you're in the middle of your fourth two-thirds majority term of government, in times of war, the country has just experienced record inflation and you've also been hurt by a so-called pardoning scandal at the beginning of the year. ... And if you then receive more votes in EU and local elections with record voter turnout than in elections that took place five years ago in unproblematic times - well, then you've basically lost [according to oppositional media].”

Népszava (HU) /

Big right-wing alliance remains a dream

The balance of power in the European Parliament doesn't seem to work to Viktor Orbán's advantage, writes Népszava:

“The grand plan was that a large right-wing alliance would be formed by the start of Hungary's EU Council presidency in July, with Viktor Orbán as its spiritual leader. ... But this idea has failed miserably. ... The seven MEPs from the Tisza party will join the EPP group. For EPP leader Manfred Weber, who has a distinctly hostile relationship with the Hungarian head of government, it is also a personal prestige victory that the EPP will now have a party among its members that positions itself against Orbán and his regime after Fidesz's 'exit' in 2021.”