With Hungary recently hosting an election to determine who may lead the country, an opportunity seemed signalled for high-ranking politicians to showcase the reasoning surrounding why they warranted the role. It was Viktor Orban who ultimately emerged victorious, attaining the most number of votes for the third consecutive election. As such, the incumbent Prime Minister may have naturally elevated his legacy in the nation, and on a broader scale Europe, as he seems to have consistently adapted to the current climate to appeal to voters. This may, therefore, be the crowning glory of his victory, with the ability to resonate a key trait required for success at the pinnacle. With a 69% turnout, among the highest in Hungary’s history, Orban’s win may be representative; he may therefore be seeking to represent the population productively, and highlight why he has further opportunities to steer the country along a fresh path.
Orban’s campaign itself seemed to cover a range of areas, perhaps in his quest to ensure he resonated with a large array of the population. Considering the current statistics seem to suggest he achieved his highest levels of support in rural areas, it seems this may have occurred, with his manifesto pledges bypassing geographical and class boundaries. His desire to focus on both domestic and foreign policies may also warrant plaudits, as it seems to highlight his willingness to innovate several areas. It may also suggest he might be knowledgeable in multiple areas, and considering his administration has already presided over strong economic growth, this knowledge may have gained credibility.
Whilst this may naturally claim the focus, the election itself seemed underpinned by one overarching debate: immigration. Orban himself seemed to use a nationalistic viewpoint, pledging to ensure Hungarians remain at the forefront of his focus, and taking a similar stance on Muslim immigration to Donald Trump. Opting to address these plans via rallies may have elevated the success of this, as he may have been able to use his gravitas and public speaking prowess to draw in supporters. His achievements in this area may also motivate other nationalistic parties to strive for similar results; Marine Le Pen seems to have adhered to this ideology, congratulating Orban via Twitter. Considering the feats of Trump, Le Pen and Brexit, the foundations may have already been laid, with Orban potentially continuing this. With his policies surrounding the EU taking precedent, these aforementioned Brexit plans may gain increased credibility, potentially reassuring the British public the action may be in their best interests.
Yet, there may also be productive outcomes for Orban’s rivals, who may gain important experience from the event. The Jobbik Party, along the Socialists, who finished second and third respectively, performed superiorly in the capital, and thus their policies may have the potential to be proficient. This may also elevate their credibility, and with young voters supporting them, the groundwork may be laid for future successes. They may therefore be able to build on this, and return more experienced, and with a revised manifesto which may attain success. As such, all may be productively impacted by the election, and with the leaders of these parties offering their resignations, there may be opportunities for fresh leaders to implement change.
Considering Orban has already presided over two terms, he may have already achieved success domestically. His adamancy surrounding immigration, and willingness to act on it, as showcased via Serbia in 2015, may support this ideology. Yet, he may presently be required to achieve on the international stage, and with his third victory solely serving to strengthen his position on a European level, this may come to fruition. He may now hold increased negotiating capabilities as a result of his domestic strength, and if he may use this to his advantage, Hungary may be held in superior stead. As such, whilst Orban did indeed emerge victorious, he may yet have more to achieve. These may be challenges he relishes, such as re-attaining the youth vote, potentially by implementing younger ministers into his party, and he may be well equipped, and motivated, for the next four years.
Why might Orban’s victory contribute to a nationalistic global wave?