Viktor Orbán is the most popular politician among the general population, with his main challenger in the April 3 elections, United for Hungary party list leader Péter Márki-Zay, lagging far behind him, reports Telex on a new poll by Závecz Research. (UPDATE: the poll was conducted in early February, and so before the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine.)
Respondents were asked to rate Hungary’s leading politicians on a scale of one to five. At the top of the list was Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, netting a “popularity index” score of 43. He was followed by fellow Fidesz politicians Péter Szijjártó (39) and Katalin Novák (38).
After these three, the other politicians making up the rest of the top ten were ranked accordingly: Péter Jakab (37), Klára Dobrev (35), András Fekete-Győr (34), Gergely Karácsony (33), Judit Varga (33), and Péter Márki-Zay (32). At the bottom of the list was László Toroczkai (26).
Tibor Závecz told Telex that a difference of 2-3 points in the poll was negligible, but that differences of at least 4-5 points were worth paying attention to.
The poll also yielded a curious result: Viktor Orbán (37) is even ahead of Péter Márki-Zay (34) in Budapest, but their popularity is neck-and-neck in Hungary’s other cities. This may be a warning sign for United for Hungary, as the opposition party coalition is hoping to get a higher proportion of votes in the capital to compensate for expected losses in rural areas.
The poll confirmed that Viktor Orbán is far more popular in small towns than Márki-Zay. Respondents in those areas gave the Fidesz president a popularity index score of 52, compared to 21 for his challenger.