Oláh Lajos; Gyurcsány Ferenc; Molnár Csaba


The Left’s referendum campaign could easily end up to be a debacle during the early phase of the official campaign, since the issues of immigration and particularly the right strategy to be selected for the October 2 referendum completely splintered and divided the leftist-liberal spectrum. Current developments allude to a situation whereas the leftist parties will plunge into their campaign for the 2018 elections in a disastrous state.

While earlier the MSZP supported the settlement of immigrants to Hungary, the party’s president today considers the government’s anti-quota stance acceptable. Due to this newest reversal, the recently elected Gyula Molnár could easily become disingenouos in the eyes of his own supporters.

What has also created a fault-line within the leftist liberal spectrum is that the Democratic Coalition led by Ferenc Gyurcsány has argued for mandatory settlement quotas, while taking on a position to boycott the referendum. Meanwhile, Együtt and PM launched an infantile campaign of irony similarly to the Two-tailed Dog Party, which only reiterated their inability to govern instead of addressing voters’ concerns. The Liberals are the sole representatives of a campaign urging people to participate in the referendum and voting yes.

The confusing rhetoric, their position vis-a-vis immigration and boycotting the referendum have all turned leftist liberal forces against their own supporters. Based on Nézőpont Intézet’s August polls, two-fifths of leftist sympathasizers rejects mandatory settlement, while  one-third of MSZP voters actually plan to participate in the referendum vote based on an assessment by Závecz Research.

All in all, it seems that the Left today is anaemic, and since they cannot afford to master a campaign consuming vast amounts of energy a year and a half prior to the parliamentary elections, therefore they are urging voters to stay home during the referendum. By doing so, they are sending a message that they have no clear positions regarding one of the most severe crisis situations inflicted upon Europe also impacting our homeland. All this could have an impact on the assessment of their ability to lead the country, which ability is already viewed as a shaky one. In sum, they would prefer to skip over this referendum, which avoidance can easily be interpredeted as a precursor to the qualifying round of the 2018 elections.