Although a month after the elections Fidesz enjoyed the highest support of its party in the last three decades (46%, representing 3.7 million voters), it has lost a great deal of support since then. Hungary’s ruling party is currently at 37%, or 3 million supporters, announced Závecz Research on Monday based on a survey of 1,000 people polled in mid-September.
But the poll also shows that Hungary’s political opposition has not been able to benefit much from Fidesz’s decline. Instead, the firm’s data show a significant increase in those who do not identify with any political party, from 20% to 26%, representing half a million people.
The left-wing Democratic Coalition remains the strongest opposition party, with its support slightly increasing among the entire electorate, from 9% in May to 10% now. In third place is Our Homeland: the far-right party was at 5% in the spring, and presently stands at 6%.
Momentum and MSZP have held steady since May, with the former at 5% support and the latter at 4%. Support for Jobbik declined slightly, from 5% to 4%, and LMP, the Two-Tailed Dog Party, and Dialogue all have the backing of 2% of voters.
The public opinion survey showed that those with a basic level of education or vocational training have defected from the ruling party in a much higher proportion than average. In April, 50% of this group declared their support for Fidesz, but their support now stands at 34-35%.
Fidesz also experienced a major loss of support from those in small and medium-sized towns as well as in villages, according to the poll. Whereas the party could count on 50% and 54% of those in such areas to support them back in May, these numbers have dropped to 35% and 39%, respectively.
Moreover, public mood has also worsened since the April elections. At the beginning of May, 52% of Hungarians felt that things in their country were going in the wrong direction, while this had grown to 62% by September. [HVG]
A simple headline captures the difficult moment in present day Hungary, support for the regime is falling, apparently fast; however, the opposition seems unable to take advantage of decreased support for the regime. One possible take home lesson is that the opposition still has not found authentic voices to speak with and for those of limited education and/or residence in small towns/villages. Perhaps the teachers strike on October 5 may hold some lessons in that regard, especially if teachers in small towns/villages go on strike.
The opposition seems to have a big problem getting its message out. The lack of mainstream media that gives sufficient time to opposition voices will continue to be a major obstacle to any sort of regime change in Hungary.
Thanks Stevan. I also suspect part of the “problem” is messaging, as the regime controls the print media (as you hinted) through “donation” of print media to regime “foundations” and/or control of print media by regime stooges. Of course, as you and many readers already know, most Hungarians get their “news” through regime controlled print media and/or regime controlled television/radio. Given those facts, very difficult for opposition to break the hold of the Fidesz regime.
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