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Mesterházy likely to “survive” EP elections

Party Popularity

MSzP Chairman Attila Mesterházy is said to enjoy the complete support of his party in running for European Parliamentary elections this week. Since nobody is competing for his place in the party, his position is rock solid as leader of the MSzP, even should Jobbik gain more seats at the upcoming elections. Party supporters of Mesterházy expect him to perform better than Együtt-PM leader Gordon Bajnai and Democratic Coalition head Ferenc Gyurcsány, both former prime ministers.

Preceding the EP elections, the MSzP is discussing the future of the party more than its actual program. The party also seems to be giving more credence to opinion polls than previously. Ipsos and Medián surveys recently suggested Jobbik has over taken the MSzP. “Jobbik is expected to take the second place, following Fidesz. We have to accept that. It is going to be shocking, but not unexpected,” a Socialist party spokesperson told Origo.

MSzP and Mesterházy are probably more concerned about gaining more than 17% of the votes, outperforming its 2009 EP election figures, which were worth four mandates, than in beating Jobbik. “If we perform worse than after Gyurcsány, it will be difficult to explain what Mesterházy has added to the prosperity of the party,” an MSzP representative said. Though the party is expecting to bag 5-8 mandates, Mesterházy is less optimistic and has had discussions with Zita Gurmai, the fifth candidate on the list, about the upcoming tasks in case she would not get to Brussels.

The future of the MSzP and Mesterházy could inevitably be affected by the performance of opposition competitors Együtt-PM and Democratic Coalition. Regardless of the results, MSzP has already decided on the date of the negotiations on the election results. Mesterházy’s resignation is not expected, although some party representatives are suggesting possible arguments and immense criticism on the leader on the May 31 gathering.

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