Main reasons of the rise of the far-right in Hungary I.
• Growing tensions between rural non-Roma and Roma
segments of the population. Romas: 5-6% of total Hungarian
population, more than 10% in Eastern Hungary – in extreme
• A relatively large part of the society is open to far-right
ideals – 48% of Hungarian population is open to
• On the whole, Hungarian society is considerably more
right-wing than it used to be in the 1990s – 20%->50%
Main reasons of the rise of the far-right in Hungary
• Widespread popular disappointment with the entire
political elite and the results of the regime transition
• The established left collapsed with the Hungarian
Socialist Party losing over half of its voters between 2006 and
2010. Many disillusioned voters were up for grabs
• A growing economic and social crisis since 2008.
Increasing poverty, especially in Eastern Hungary
Main reasons of the rise of the far-right in Hungary III.
The supply side strengthened as Jobbik engaged in intense
organisation building in 2006
• Jobbik was extremely successful in establishing local
party units and recruiting party members
• A key of the initial success was the establishment of the
Hungarian Guard in 2007 and the exploitation of
widespread anti-Roma sentiments
• An alternative media network was built up by Jobbik
(websites, weekly newspaper, free tabloid)
Jobbik’s ideological profile and public policy priorities - I
• Anti-communism and the rejection of post-communist
MSZP and its liberal ally SZDSZ
• A strong commitment to law and order
• The appropriation of the Roma issue, fight against “gypsy
Jobbik’s ideological profile and public policy priorities - II
• The „new” party
• Left-wing economic policy
• Anti-globalisation sentiment
• Strong euroscepticism
Who are Jobbik’s voters? I.
• Strong territorial concentration, but more than a “regional
party” – Jobbik’s strongholds are the constituencies in NorthEastern Hungary, but has support everywhere in the country
• Income is not significantly correlated to support for Jobbik
• Jobbik’s support is the highest among the youth and is
extremely weak among pensioners
Who are Jobbik’s voters? II.
• Jobbik suffers from a vast gender gap – „machoparty”
• Most Jobbik voters are not religious
• Elite-surveys prove that Jobbik’s political elite is more
radical than its voter base – just the contrary to the
Jobbik’s impact on mainstream parties – I.
• The governing party Fidesz has realised a number of policies and
symbolic gestures that were in Jobbik’s election manifesto but had
never figured in Fidesz’ programmes or communication:
i.Fight against multinational companies
ii.Fight against the EU
iii.Fight against „liberal” culture
•The Hungarian Socialist Party for its part sees itself under pressure
in the Jobbik bastion of North-Eastern Hungary, which was
previously a socialist stronghold
Jobbik’s impact on mainstream parties – II.
• Helmut Kohl’s advise to Viktor Orbán: No one should stand
on your right
•Viktor Orbán is in „opposition” even in government
•Fidesz-Jobbik: potential coaliton?
How to handle extremism?
Exclusion (cordon sanitaire) or inclusion?
„Demand-side” and/or „supply side?
Positive regional discrimination
Training for journalists
Field work for the mainstream parties
Thank you for your attention!