Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Netherlands stays left as Hungary turns right

Obsessed as we are with our own elections, it's easy to forget two concurrent and interesting European elections in the Netherlands and Hungary.

Back at the beginning of March, I reported Dutch polls that predicted 27 seats for Wilders, with the Christian Democrats at 26 and Labour at 24, raising the possibility that he would lead Holland's next coalition government. The polls have now turned, and the weekend's predictions are for just 18 seats for Wilders and 30 each for the CDA and PvdA. Ironically, the collapse in Wilders' support seems to have occurred as he toned down his anti-Islamic demands in preparation for coalition negotiations; the Dutch will vote for an angry and uncompromising Wilders as a political outsider, but not for a responsible Wilders preparing for the burden of PM of a coalition government, it seems.

In Hungary, it's a race between the right and the far right. The Hungarians have slaughtered the socialist MSZP party, blaming it for the nation's chaotic economic state, mendacity and endemic corruption, cutting the party's seats in the first voting round from 189 to just 28. Many former socialist voters are reported to be tactically supporting the right-wing Fidesz, predicted to gain 258 out of 386 parliamentary seats, to block the far-right Jobbik's seat gains. If they can give Fidesz a 2/3rd majority, they can prevent it having to enter a coalition with Jobbik.

Like the BNP, Jobbik draws its support from disillusioned former socialists; as the Herald says

The disappointed electorate has responded to Jobbik’s rants against the corrupt political elite, the “criminal Romas” and “the grasping Jews and foreigners”. The first round gave Jobbik third place in Parliament, right behind the Socialists. According to political analysts, the vote for Jobbik came mainly from unemployed agricultural workers and disillusioned former Socialist voters from the industrial rust belts.
With the right continuing to make gains in next-door Austria, and the success of the anti-mosque vote in Switzerland, it seems Europe's Eastern door is creaking closed.

1 comment:

chrisbryon said...

very interesting topic is election in Netherlands......