The polls have closed over in Hungary, where parliamentary elections will determine whether Viktor Orban and his Fidesz Party will remain in power, or be displaced by a conservative coalition that promises to continue many of Orban’s policies (such as, unfortunately, heavy dependence on Russia for energy supplies). Significant that Orban’s opposition calculates that it can only succeed by running a candidate who is nearly as socially conservative as Orban.
No exit polls are being conducted, so we’ll have to await an old-fashioned vote count. All of the pre-election polls showed Fidesz ahead, but by narrow margins. Henry Olsen says the earliest returns from around Budapest look very good for Fidesz:
Meanwhile, I have noted before that the European and American deep states are doing everything they can to assure Orban’s defeat, including setting up the narrative that the election is rigged. (Irony alert.) Let’s go through and offer commentary about some of the news story about the election from today’s Wall Street Journal news division:
But in a counterpoint to Europe’s rush to help Ukraine, Mr. Orban has promised to resist all of those measures, centering his re-election bid on a promise to keep Hungary out of the fray—and powered by affordable Russian gas. His campaign ads, social-media accounts, and talk shows on state radio and public television warn that a defeat for Mr. Orban will drag the country into the war.
Of course, American natural gas is cheaper than Russian gas, but as the Biden Administration and the climatistas oppose expanding our export capacity, it is hard to call out Hungary for doing what most other European nations are doing—continuing to take Russian gas, because they have few other options.
Mr. Marki-Zay [the opposition candidate] argues he would be a more constructive member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, yet would also oppose any sanctions on Russian gas. But he has struggled to get airtime for that message in a country where nearly all largest TV and radio stations have been bought up by Mr. Orban’s political allies.
So Orban controls Hungary’s major media? Sort of like the Democratic Party here, no?
Mr. Orban, who has governed Hungary for half of its postcommunist history, has used his majority in parliament to rewrite election laws, gerrymander voting districts, and permit mail-in ballots without identity verification from communities that favor him.
Just like the Democratic Party here, no? (Is there an echo here?)
This concentration of power is now so strong that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, an intergovernmental security group, has taken the rare step of sending a full team of up to 200 election monitors.
Memo to OSCE: Will you send election monitors to Philadelphia, Milwaukie, and Atlanta for our next national election? I didn’t think so.
It is said that Orban is corrupt, and favors cronies. I suspect the real problem Western elites have with Orban is that he won’t put Hunter Biden on the board of Hungarian companies.
It is said that Orban is too close to, or sympathetic to, Putin. I must have missed where Orban presented Putin with a “reset” button for closer relations, or told Russia’s foreign minister that “he’d have more flexibility after the election.”
Meanwhile, a former student of mine, Bradley Devlin, is covering the scene for The American Conservative magazine, and has up today a terrific article on “Preempting Claims of a Rigged Election in Hungary.”
Today, Hungarians will head to the polls to determine if Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party will retain control of the Hungarian government. While the polls are close, it appears likely Fidesz will have a majority yet again, and Orbán will enter his fourth consecutive term as Prime Minister. Sensing this is the case, the united opposition has taken pages from Stacey Abrams’ playbook to delegitimize the election—even before the votes have begun being counted.
Read the whole thing, and stay tuned for updates later.
UPDATE 1: At 4 pm eastern time (US), it is looking like a Fidesz landslide taking shape:
UPDATE 2 (from Henry):
And another classic example of leftist thought: turnout in Hungary was high (about 67%), and the margin wasn’t close, but for the left, “democracy” depends always on the right people winning. And the “wrong” people won today in Hungary. So: