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The secrets to Viktor Orban’s success

Foreign Policy: 'Although nationalist politicians have pushed these buttons since 1990, Orban’s legacy enables him to use them with particular effect – so much so that there is no independent far-right party even trying to challenge Fidesz for these voters. It was Orban, after all, who pushed through dual citizenship for the roughly 2.4 million people of Hungarian ethnicity who live abroad in 2010, which won him the hearts of Hungarian nationalists and hundreds of thousands of new votes. Since then, he has increased financial support to those communities tenfold, ensuring Fidesz over 90 percent of the diaspora vote.

'Orban’s nationalist ideology goes hand in hand with a paternalist agenda that professes to look out for the particular interests of Hungarians—in contrast to the liberals, greens, Christian democrats, and socialists, who, according to Orban, ultimately answer to Germany, the EU, international financial institutions, and global businesses. “Orban has managed to convince a lot of people that Fidesz and only Fidesz protects the Hungarian people from many different forms of interference in their best interests and Hungary’s national sovereignty,” said Andras Biro-Nagy, director of Policy Solutions, a Budapest-based think tank. “Whether it’s high energy prices, immigration, LGBT issues, or even now a war on its borders, a lot of Fidesz voters feel that in Orban, they are in safe hands that will do what it takes to shield them from external evils in a turbulent world.”'

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