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Attention Turns To Polls As Conservative Mayor Set To Challenge Orban


In the wake of the shock win for conservative Mayor of Hódmezővásárhely Péter Márki-Zay in the united opposition leadership run-off yesterday, attention will turn to the state of opinion polls over the coming weeks to see whether the group has selected a candidate able to challenge incumbent PM Viktor Orban in next year's legislative election.

  • Márki-Zay, who had the endorsement of the centre-left Dialogue–MSZP–LMP parties. defeated liberal MEP Klara Dobrev winning 56.7% of the vote to Dobrev's 43.3%.
  • Given the broad political spread of the 'united opposition' group, running from centre-left social democrats to social conservatives, there is the potential for the uneasy coalition to experience internal dissent from supporters of Dobrev, aggrieved at her loss.
  • Backers of Márki-Zay argued that he was the candidate most likely to win over disaffected voters from Orban's Fidesz Party, and that anyone in the centre or left of politics will vote for him just to see Orban ousted. Dobrev, hailing from a centrist party and married to former Socialist Party Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány.
  • Opinion polling in the coming weeks - the first that will be carried out with Marki-Zay as the known leader of the opposition coalition - will give an indication of whether the gamble has paid off for Orban's opponents.

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