Hungary’s political opposition has not seen a breakthrough with the increased pace of the election campaign, and the currently-governing parties have benefited more from the news of war breaking out in Ukraine, reports an article in hvg360.
A new Medián poll shows that the escalation of events in Hungary’s northeastern neighbor both before the war and after it began has led to higher support for the ruling Fidesz party.
Before war broke out last week, the Fidesz-KDNP alliance had a 4% advantage over its rivals as it was distributing huge social welfare benefits, such as personal tax refunds and a 13th month pension for retirees.
But this has grown to a 12% lead since the start of the Ukrainian war, while the opposition coalition United for Hungary has lost 2% of its support since December. Likewise, the proportion of undecided voters in the entire electorate has grown from 13% to 20%.
Expectations of the united opposition’s chances have also declined: in December last year, 63% of Hungarians expected Fidesz to win the elections, but 67% now hold this opinion. Only 45% of opposition voters themselves are confident that their side will emerge victorious.
Support for smaller political parties also declined, with Our Homeland and the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party moving even further away from the minimum 5% threshold needed to obtain a parliamentary mandate from the party list.
György Gattyán’s Solution Movement and Tibor Szanyi’s ISZOMM parties belong to the “also ran” category. (Moreover, Szanyi’s party did not even make the cut to appear on the second ballot for the elections.)
The demographic bases of support for each camp have not altered much: Fidesz-KDNP continues to enjoy strong support among the elderly, rural voters, the less-educated, and poorer strata of society, while the opposition’s base of support is among younger people, urban residents, college graduates, and those with higher than average incomes.
But Hungarians remain divided in terms of the direction the country is going. At the end of February, slightly more people thought the country was going in the wrong direction (47%) than those who felt it was going in the right direction (44%).
Medián’s poll was conducted between February 22-26 through interviews with a sample size of 1,100 people, determined as representative of the Hungarian population.