Inside Story

Is Hungary’s Viktor Orban popular or a populist?

Voters in Hungary go to the polls, with controversial prime minister seeking a third term in office.

The election campaign in Hungary has been dominated by one issue, immigration. Right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s hardline approach to migrants has grown stronger over the years.

In 2015, more than 400,000 refugees – many fleeing the Syrian war – passed through the country. In response, Hungary built a fence along its border with Serbia and Croatia to keep them out.

Orban has vowed to continue fighting against the EU quota on refugees, a plan meant to relocate asylum seekers across Europe.

Analysts say his policies could have a long-lasting impact on the European Union. Far-right and populist parties have made gains in other elections including in Italy and Austria.

It is suggested a strong win for Orban could trigger cracks in the EU.

Presenter: Darren Jordon


Gergely Rajnai – analyst at Hungary’s Centre for Fair Political Analysis

Ulrich Brueckner – political analyst and professor of European studies at Stanford University, Berlin

Matthew Goodwin – professor of politics and international relations at the University of Kent