Budapest voters have a dim view of Gergely Karácsony, the opposition’s joint candidate in the autumn municipal election who is seeking to replace István Tarlós, the incumbent mayor backed by the ruling Fidesz party, the Századvég Foundation has said. According to its statement, the second round primary to select a joint candidate and unite the opposition in Budapest did not go according to plan. Left-wing candidates are battling in the district of Ferencváros while the nationalist Jobbik party is going its separate way in two districts. Századvég said the opposition had shown itself incapable of boosting its overall support, so individual left-liberal parties were cannibalising support in order to secure their own slice of the cake. But this has not got them close to providing a challenge to the ruling Fidesz-led alliance, it added.
According to Századvég’s survey conducted in July, 52% of Budapest voters see Tarlós as capable of fighting for the city’s needs and 64% regard him as a strong leader. Only 16 % have the same opinion of Karácsony, the survey found.
Tarlós is seen as having established financial stability in Budapest and revamped the city, Századvég said. By contrast, Karácsony, who is the mayor of Zugló, is seen as a political careerist who drove his district into near bankruptcy. The report said the opposition was divided and it had not helped their cause that the Democratic Coalition (DK) and Momentum had fiercely campaigned against Karácsony. Now they expect their voters to back their former opponent. With barely four months until the elections, there is little the opposition can do to resolve its internal strife, Századvég said.