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First-time voters strongly lean toward united opposition list

picture of Péter Márki-Zay with teenagers

Hungary’s current government would suffer a resounding defeat if it were up to first-time voters, according to a new IDEA Institute poll commissioned by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung.

Slightly more than half (53%) of first-time young voters indicated that they would definitely head to the polls on April 3, while a further 14% said they would probably be voting.

Comparing its results with other data, IDEA estimates that the expected turnout for this group will be somewhere around 40%, representing between 150,000-200,000 new voters.

Data from the Central Statistial Office shows that there are 399,051 Hungarians between the ages of 18-21. Turnout intent for first-time voters is higher among men, those living in larger towns, and most of all, those with a higher level of education. 60% of highly-educated first-time voters, for example, were certain that they would cast a vote on April 3.

First-time voters in the survey showed a strong preference for Hungary’s political opposition: 32% of them would vote for the united opposition’s party list, while only 17% plan to vote for the ruling Fidesz-KDNP party list.

They would also vote to give two smaller parties, the Our Homeland Movement and the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party (MKKP), represenation in the National Assembly if it were only up to them. However, a high proportion of first-time voters, 34%, have “unknown” party preferences, covering those who are undecided, do not want to reveal their party, or are otherwise disconnected from the topic.

One interesting point in the poll is the 15% who did not wish to reveal their party preference, a group that might cause some surprises when they turn out to vote.

First-time voters would give opposition a two-thirds majority

Considering only at those who have a preference, or those who have a preference and are certain to take part in the election, it appears that if it were up to first-time voters, the opposition would win a two-thirds majority of seats in Parliament.

The poll also reveals that first-time voters for Fidesz are not as committed and less likely to vote compared to supporters for the united opposition or Our Homeland. Likewise, the data on MKKP supporters suggested that this group is also not very enthusiastic about voting next weekend.

IDEA also pointed out other interesting results of the poll, such as the fact that Fidesz leads among women, while men are strongly in the opposition camp. In addition, first-time voters in Budapest would mark their ballots for MKKP and the united opposition at a much higher-than-average proportion than the rest of the country.

One other notable point was that 22% of this group claimed that they won’t decide until the final week of the election, or even the final day, which party will get their first vote.

Methodology

The IDEA Institute surveyed the data in two waves, in February and early March 2022, using a self-administered online questionnaire through social media. Ads targeted to this age group appeared randomly, with randomized patterns and calls to action. Weighting was performed after the survey was completed, controlling for the frequency of political activity and supplemented with regular socio-demographic weighting procedures to ensure representativeness. The survey was conducted among young people who will be 18 by April 1, 2022, but no older than 22 and did not vote in the previous parliamentary election in 2018. The margin of error for the 670-person polling sample is 4.1% from the baseline distributions.

[Azonnali]

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