The far-right Jobbik party scored a narrow lead over its Fidesz-Christian Democrat opponent in the Tapolca by-election, in Western Hungary, according to the preliminary result. Lajos Rig scored 35.27% of the votes ahead of Zoltán Fenyvesi with 34.38%. Ferenc Pad, the joint candidate of the Socialists, the Democratic Coalition and the Hungarian Solidarity Movement had the support of 26.27% and Barbara Sallee of the green LMP party 2.05%.
Tamás Lánczi, chief analyst of the Századvég Foundation, said the preliminary result could be considered as final even if there is a mathematical possibility that Fidesz and Jobbik could switch places. He told public television M1 that it would be surprising were the result to change before the final announcement. No conclusions from the by-election outcome, however, can be drawn concerning national trends, he said, adding that Jobbik had done a good job of mobilising its supporters in a region where traditionally Jobbik has fared well. The left wing “lagged behind dismally”, he said, noting that whereas the difference between Jobbik and Fidesz was a few hundred votes, the gap between Fidesz and the left was several thousand. Sámuel Ágoston Mráz, head of the Nézőpont Institute, said the outcome pointed to a “protest vote”.