Hungary’s anti-migration prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has secured a third consecutive term in office after his Fidesz party won a resounding victory in parliamentary elections on Sunday.
Running on a nationalist, anti immigration platform, Orban seeks to overturn the pro-immigration, anti-Christian sentiment running rife through Europe, putting more muscle into a Central European alliance against EU migration policies, working with other right-wing nationalists in Poland and Austria, and further expose cracks in the 28-nation bloc.
Orban, who portrays himself as the saviour of Hungary’s Christian culture against Muslim migration into Europe, added that he would cultivate deeper relations with nationalist-ruled Poland and the conservative German region of Bavaria.
His re-election demonstrates a shift across Europe, and will no doubt cast fears into the hearts of pro-European leaders and those who are determined to turn Europe into a supra-state, merging all sovereign nations into one.
Turnout was the largest since 1998. There were long queues outside the polling booths, which in some cases stayed open to ensure that no one who joined the line by the official closing time was denied the chance to vote. And the result — one party winning half of the vote — was conclusive. It simply cannot be explained away as the result of gerrymandering, since a 49 percent share of the total vote would mean a landslide in seats under almost any multi-party electoral system.
Orban’s victory is a major challenge for European leaders, as it demonstrates that the populist upsurge is a permanent part of Europe’s politics.