BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – Zsofia Koncz (Fidesz) secured 50.6 percent of the vote against the 45.9 percent of Jobbik’s Laszlo Biro in the special election held in Borsod’s 6th voting district last Sunday.
This was the first election where the united opposition parties faced off against Fidesz for a seat in Parliament. The two-thirds majority of Fidesz rested on the election and has now been secured by Koncz. The opposition coalition candidate came about 1700 votes too short. This was a significant improvement for Biro, who only managed to secure 30.4 percent of the vote against Koncz Ferenc, Zsofia’s father, when Biro ran against him in 2018.
The 16 point improvement is explained by the support of the leftist opposition parties. After the municipal election victories the united opposition won in 2019, the parties came to terms with the fact that they needed to cooperate to defeat Fidesz. Many supporters had hoped that Sunday’s election would prove that.
Some analysts blamed the disappointing results on the lack of a public primary to decide the joint candidate. Others found issues with Biro and his lack of charisma, any articulated vision for the future, and his past of antisemitic and anti-Roma comments. G.M. Tamás, a leftist public intellectual went as far as to say that Biros defeat was morally and politically the best thing that could happen to the opposition.
The Fidesz led an intensive and expensive campaign for Zsofia Koncz. Her main campaign promise was to continue the work of her father. Several high-level ministers visited the district, although notably, Orban Viktor was missing from the guests. The Prime Minister restrained himself from congratulating Koncz after the election. Fidesz organized a discounted vegetable sale, distributed potatoes, toilet paper, and even laptops to high school students in the district.
On Facebook ads alone, Koncz spent more money than what is legally allowed for campaign purposes. Campaign finance laws require candidates to pay the state a fine equal to twice the amount spent over the campaign limit, but it is to be seen whether there will be any consequences for this breach of the campaign law.
With Koncz’s victory, Fidesz enters the second wave of the pandemic with confidence and the legislative mandate to pass the laws they see fit.
By Viktor Mák
Born in Jászberény in the Hungarian countryside, Viktor Mák studied and worked in the United States. He recently returned to Hungary and finished a degree in Public Administration at the Central European University. During the day, he works in political communication. In his free time busies himself with activism fighting for a quality, well funded and accessible education system in Hungary. Check out his latest articles right here!