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On the heels of an internal poll leaked to news portal 444.hu that shows ruling party Fidesz with a decisive lead, Publicus Institute has come out with a poll of its own. Commissioned by Hungarian daily Népszava, Publicus’ research reveals that the united opposition still holds a slight lead over the governing coalition.

According to the 444 story, opposition party chairs had received unpublished polling results on Wednesday which showed 46% support for Fidesz-KDNP but only 32% for the joint opposition party list.

Népszava notes, however, that the 444 article did not disclose, among other things, when the data was collected, what the exact questions were, or how the research was conducted. The 14-point difference would also be an outlier, considering that other pollsters have found a much closer race in recent days, with many showing the united opposition ahead.

Conducted in late November, the latest Publicus Institute poll is in line with other recent polls, showing 36% support for the opposition list and 32% going to Fidesz-KDNP.

András Pulai, head of the Publicus Institute, told Népszava that the opposition’s advantage had decreased slightly, but the race was still wide-open. The pollster noted that the opposition’s decline was understandable given that they had maximized their resources during the primary election campaign, but, he said, “they are collecting signatures for the referendum, which could give them momentum.”

The research also revealed that the vast majority of respondents would head to the polls if voting was held this Sunday. 96% of Fidesz and Democratic Coalition (DK) voters both said they would show up to vote, but Jobbik (95%) and MSZP-Dialogue (89%) supporters were not far behind. Broken down by location, 88% of Budapest residents and 82% of those living in county seats claimed they would cast a vote this weekend, but even two-thirds of small-town inhabitants said the same.

Fidesz remains the most popular political party in Hungary with 31% support, while the strongest opposition party is DK at 11%.

Among parties with single-digit support, the MSZP-Dialogue ticket attracts 8%, Jobbik gets 6%, Momentum is at 4%, and LMP-Hungary’s Green Party and the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party garner 1% each. And although it’s not actually a political party, Péter Márki-Zay’s Everybody’s Hungary Movement has 2% support from the public.

Interestingly, Publicus also notes that 7% of respondents would not vote for any individual opposition party, but would support the opposition coalition list. Finally, the opposition leads 17-10% among uncertain voters, while the ruling party has a 37-33% advantage among retirees.

[Népszava]

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By Steven N.

Steven is the editor-in-chief of Hungarian Politics. He has been following the political scene in Hungary and the Central European region more or less since 1994.