41% of Hungarians do not plan to take part in the government-sponsored referendum on so-called “child protection” issues, and nearly half of opposition voters intend to invalidate their ballot, according to a national representative poll conducted by Medián and commissioned by Amnesty International Hungary and the Background Society.
The poll showed that pro-government voters consider the referendum much more important than opposition or undecided voters. When asked what the government’s intention was with regards to the referendum, more than a quarter of opposition voters who had heard of it said it was a distraction, while pro-government voters said its goal was to protect children.
Referendums in Hungary are valid if more than half of all voters vote validly, and produce an official result if more than half of the participants answer “yes” or “no” to the questions.
But the poll suggests that a large portion of voters are not going to vote validly in the April 3 referendum, meaning that the referendum may not be declared valid despite the fact that it will be held on the same day as the Hungarian parliamentary elections.
It’s possible that campaigns like ervenytelenul.hu, which encourage Hungarians to invalidate their ballots by marking both “yes” and “no” on all five questions in the referendum, are having an effect on shaping the electorate’s thoughts on it. As the site states:
The propaganda referendum planned for April 3, 2022 is a direct continuation of the government’s politics of homophobia and transphobia, which sacrifices people’s security and well-being for its own political ends. Invalidate your ballot on April 3, because that will bring us one step closer to repealing the propaganda law.
The poll was conducted between February 22-26, before the start of the government’s poster and video campaign urging voters to vote “no” on the referendum.