On November 9, 2014, candidates from the radical-nationalist Jobbik party won mayoral elections repeated in the city of Ózd and the village of Recsk, both in northern Hungary, after regional election officials determined that balloting at these locations in early October had failed to produce bona fide winners (source in Hungarian).
These victories raised the number of Jobbik mayors in Hungary pursuant to 2014 mayoral elections to 14, compared to just three as the result of 2010 mayoral elections (main source in Hungarian).
A further 10 independent candidates who ran with official support from Jobbik were victorious in mayoral elections held throughout Hungary on October 12.
Therefore, 24 communities in Hungary now have Jobbik or Jobbik-supported mayors, compared to 12 at the end of the last municipal-government cycle (see note below).
Ten of the latter 12, including László Toroczkai of Ásotthalom (see First Little Pinprick) and Mihály Zoltán Orosz of Érpatak (see The Second Little Pinprick), won reelection this fall.
Jobbik or Jobbik-supported candidates won two-thirds of their victories in the Northern Hungarian Mountains and the Northern Great Plain, thus signifying a continuation of the party’s success in these impoverished and highly Gypsy-populated regions of the country.
And, for the first time, Jobbik and Jobbik-supported candidates won mayoral elections in cities with populations of over 20,000—Békéscsaba, Ózd and Törökszentmiklós.
One should not exaggerate the significance of the gains that Jobbik achieved in 2014 mayoral elections: party or party-supported mayors still serve as the highest-ranking elected officials in less than one percent of the 3,177 communities in Hungary with municipal governments. However, this fall’s mayoral elections show that Jobbik has not only gained popularity in the party’s established rural strongholds in rural northeastern and eastern Hungary, but has also made political inroads in towns and small cities in these sections of the country and begun to extend its political reach into the more economically developed region of Transdanubia. If these trends continue over the next four years, Jobbik could challenge the Fidesz-KDNP governing alliance’s local-level political supremacy in the part of Hungary lying to the east of the Danube River in 2018.
Note: Four of these 12 mayors won 2010 elections—three as Jobbik candidates and one as a Jobbik-supported independent; two won 2010 elections as independents before joining Jobbik in 2012; and six won by-elections—four as Jobbik candidates and two as Jobbik-supported independents.
Communities in which Jobbik candidates won 2014 mayoral elections:
Ózd (pop. 33,944);
Communities in which Jobbik-suppported independents won 2014 mayoral elections: