Hungary’s anti-migrant referendum — The most recent poll and what religious leaders are saying

We are entering the final stretch of Hungary’s anti-migrant referendum, scheduled for October 2nd. A new poll by Republikon suggests that 48% of the electorate is certain to cast a ballot, while an additional 23% say that they will likely vote. These polling results suggest that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will get exactly what he is looking for: a massive “no” vote, rejecting European Union “migrant quotas” for member states (73% will vote ‘no’ according to Republikon) and the referendum may also be valid, with participation surpassing the 50% + 1 threshold. But Republikon also cautions that it is notoriously difficult to accurately gauge participation levels through polls. Many Fidesz voters, who are the most likely to cast a ballot in the referendum, may simply feel social pressure to tell pollsters that they will vote, when in fact they have little inclination to actually do so. In other words, participation levels reported by pollsters may be overestimated.

Additionally, now that left-centre opposition parties have launched a more visible campaign advocating for Hungarians to boycott the vote, the proportion of voters who, out of principle, will stay home, has increased. The proportion of voters who intend to boycott the vote increased from 17% to 21% over the last month.

The liberal Együtt (Together) party and two smaller partners produced a campaign poster featuring Hungarians sitting out the referendum and giving the government the finger. Literally.  Their slogan: "This is the answer to a stupid question. Those who stay at home, stay in Europe."

The liberal Együtt (Together) party and two smaller partners produced a campaign poster featuring Hungarians sitting out the referendum and giving the government the finger. Literally. Their slogan: “This is the answer to a stupid question. Those who stay at home, vote for Europe.”

Republikon’s most recent poll projects the following results:

No: 73%
Yes:  4%
Disqualified: 6%

The satirical Hungarian Two-tailed Dog Party is actively (and very visibly) campaigning, in order to convince Hungarians to cast an invalid ballot out of protest.


The conservative Heti Válasz print weekly asked several prominent religious leaders from different faith communities what they think about the referendum and how they intend to vote. The two Roman Catholic bishops both lined up behind Mr. Orbán’s referendum and  pledged to vote “no” in the anti-migrant plebiscite. “I will vote ‘no,’ because I am Hungarian,” declared Béla Balás, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Kaposvár. Bishop Balás might want to vote ‘no’ to confirm that he is a patriotic Hungarian, but considering his support for a referendum and government that completely lacks any sense of compassion, I wonder what he might do to confirm that he is actually a Christian…

Bishop Miklós Beer of Vác is also voting ‘no,’ adding: “The referendum is a message to the leaders of the European Union that it is not possible to solve the issue of mass migration like this.” Bishop Beer suggests that Catholic faithful vote their conscience in the referendum.

Fülöp Kocsis, Metropolitan of the Greek Catholic Church in Hajdúdorog, seems to be among the most enthusiastic supporters of a ‘no’ vote. “We need to be able to say “no” to those who are trying to force their way in,” said the Greek Catholic leader.

Sándor Németh, Pastor at the Faith Church–a Pentecostal mega-church in Budapest–also supports the Orbán government in the referendum. “In spite of international pressure, we must insist on our national sovereignty,” said Rev. Németh.

Sándor Szenczy, a Baptist pastor, is also voting ‘no’ in the referendum, but seemed to provide some lukewarm criticism of the referendum question and his vote seems a little half-hearted. “We cannot answer in any other way, when the question is posed in this manner,” said Rev. Szenczy.

The Hungarian Jewish community seems divided on the referendum. Rabbi Zoltán Radnóti has decided to boycott the referendum, noting: “I will not play this game,” and referring to the way in which the government uses and abuses society’s fears of ‘the other.’

Rabbi Slomó Köves of the Chabad-based Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation, however, stands with the Orbán government and he plans to vote “no.” Rabbi Köves notes: “For the Jewish community, these questions are connected to our everyday physical safety and risks to our safety. As such, I do not think it to be a good idea if the settlement of migrants became mandatory or uncontrollable.”


  1. Dr. Habil Fodor András says:

    Dear Christopher,

    Many thanks for the good news! The statement of the “popular” Bajnai Party – Együtt – is a guarantee, that the Referendum will be a success – for the Government of Hungary. And of the Hungarian people.
    Let me also share a good news for You and your respected Readers. I know, that You are all faithful Hungarian patriots, – and also Friends of America, therefore you will be extremely happy aqt reading it, even if it is written in Hungarian:

    • Christopher Adam says:

      Please do not copy and paste lengthy non-English texts from other sites. Many if not most of our readers will not be able to understand this. As well, the text–which I have removed–is not relevant to the topic at hand.

  2. András B. Göllner says:

    I trust that the first posting – which transcends all of the norms of civilized discourse – is removed as soon as possible, because its polluting the public sphere. Why not post messages here in all of the various languages of the world and create a babble of incomprehension ? Please !

    The Hungarian referendum is not about the right of a country to maintain its identity within the EU. It is a referendum about the right of an EU member government to demonize refugees, to portray them as rodents to be exterminated. Hungary introduced the 20th century’s first anti-Jewish legislation in 1920. The Hungarian government has now introduced the 21st century’s first anti-Muslim, anti-refugee hate campaign. And as in 1920, so it is in 2016 – that the country’s religious leadership is going along for the ride. The stain that this shameful act will leave on Hungary’s moral fiber, will be as hard to remove as the one in 1920. People with an ounce of respect for the dignity of our fellow human beings should raise their voices, boycott or vote against a government, that condemns refugees and praises those who spread hatred against unfortunate minorities such as Roma, Muslims, and Jews. If anyone should be barred from Canada it is the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, who is single-handedly leading the war on multiculturalism in Europe.

  3. Referendum? Pathetic! With referendum against the most nefarious incredibly evil war of human history that was set to destroy the ethnic minority of the white human race by pushing them into full blown extinction (white is a small ethnic minority in all world population).

    What this referendum is good for beyond demonstrating Orban’s democratic approach to the problem. The EU will not even consider the result and Orban cannot use it against the EU when Brussels and Merkel are pushing the worst of the migrants into Hungary.

    “Now you people in NATO, listen to me – you are bombing the wall that stopped African migration into Europe. This wall stopped the terrorists from AL-Qaeda . This wall was Libya, you are destroying it you fools….You will burn in hell, this is how it will be.” Gaddafi’s Prophecy, 2011 – “Europe will turn black

    Now it only needs a few wrinkled up old multi-billionaire to finance the exodus and there you are. Fight them with a sanctimonious referendum. hmmmmm Good one.

    But you guys wipe the sarcastic smile off your faces, they will not stop after invading Europe, you’ll be the next. Canada gets 57 000 this year. In ten years they will bring millions in and will reproduce at an incredible rate and will produce another 5 million with an average 8 children from one woman.

  4. Why is it the responsibility of any European country to give these “refugees”(most are economic refugees) a better life? Europe has nothing to gain by letting or bringing these people in. Europe, your first and last obligation is to your people. What do the “refugees” have to offer? They bring nothing to the table. Europeans first in Europe, not last.

    Why don’t muslim “asylum seekers” go to Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates , Oman, Saudi Arabia or any of the other rich muslim countries? These are Islamic countries therefore more suitable for them.

    Has there ever been a European country that benefited by opening it’s borders to non-Europeans? If so, name it. Do they make Europe a safer place to live? Have they made Europe great? Are they good for tourism? Do they bring anything positive to Europe? Do they respect the citizens of Europe and the customs? Do they support themselves without burdening the tax payers? Do they burden the judicial system due to high crime rates? Do they love Europe or what they can get from her?

    Do they victimize the European people in large proportions to their small numbers? Wouldn’t crimes against the European people foreshadow their true intentions? Do they trash up the areas they inhabit in Europe? If they victimize the host country’s people and trash up their land after they have been given a new start at life, wouldn’t that be like a direct “screw you”? Do they demand you to change your ways and customs so they can tolerate you? Do they respect the peoples government? Your family? Your people? Your culture?

    If they are guilty of only three of these questions then It would be safe to say they should not be in Europe. There is more harm than good for Europe and her people.

    This day and time patriots are labeled as neo-Nazi, it’s a matter of time before the soldiers of today face Nuremberg type trials. If a European country don’t let the foreign hoards flood their land they are called “far right” “racist” “Nazis” and “xenophobic”. 

    If they let them in, their country, their lives, their descendants lives will be torn apart. Which one is easier to live with? Which one does the most damage? Which choice is beneficial to the European country and it’s people? Hint: A name will not destroy a country and it’s people. Europe, wake up and take stand before it’s too late and you lose everything.

  5. “Why don’t muslim “asylum seekers” go to Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates , Oman, Saudi Arabia or any of the other rich muslim countries?”

    Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates , Oman, Saudi Arabia declared they will not allow a single migrant to cross their borders. Otherwise Europe the final destination. Specially Germany where from they can spread with the Euro quotas in an organized way.

    Europe repulsed Muslim invasions twice in history and still has a powerful military to annihilate them any time when they try it for the third time, supposing it is a kind of traditional war. But it is different now, they are using the Gene Sharp method. They come in millions, the militants are among them of hundreds of thousands and its only matter of timing when they will be supplied with weapons. After the task of social disruption is completed.

    All they need is to infiltrate the circle of high level politicians of the now united Europe who will simply open the door to these people. You only need to call them refugees and the protesters and patriots fascist. Now the door is open. It was easy.

    Once more, I hope everybody assisting in this well engineered destruction of Europe clearly understand the tremendous responsibility they gotta bear for participating in this evil operation once the good guys will win. They must be held responsible for what they have done.


    I propose a Hungarian referendum (logically equivalent to the above one) that would be a big hit with Orban’s brainwashed (and logically challenged) populace:

    “Should Gyurcsány Stop Beating His Wife?” YES? NO?

    Trumped up version:

    “Should Hilary Admit She’s Crooked?” YES? NO?

    (I expect some really ugly and stupid postings in response to the latter, unless Chris flushes them, as I hope he will! The Orban mentality and the Trump mentality are turning out to be much the same on all counts: hatefulness, demagoguery, corruption, ignorance and incompetence.)

    (Dasselbe in Grün [Rot, Weiss] oder Blau [Rot, Weiss])

  7. András B. Göllner says:

    @ Stevan Harnad

    The similarities between Orbán’s and Trump’s messaging is not coincidental. They share the same communications advisors and spin doctors, e.g. Arthur Finkelstein, Roger Stone, Connie Mack III, Paul Mannafort, and many others, who serve Trump along with serving a dozen dictators in the former Soviet Republics.

  8. Earthly power ( and self-) serving, rotten, reactionary clergy, show their true face. In the footsteps of those who collaborated with Nazis. They make intelligent, decent people atheists, agnostics…

  9. The smartest answer is of the Rabbi Zoltán Radnóti (eh, Jews always the smartest…) because obviously that he like the other Rabbi (Slomó Köves) and like most Jews doesn’t want too many Muslims in Hungary and knows that the referendum will be a resounding success and therefore doesn’t cost him anything to sound “superior” and “compassionate” with the “other” (blah, blah).

  10. To Mr Gollner: You are categorically and totally misinformed when you are referring to “Numerus Clausus.” Please check your sources and the origins of these hateful policies. Hungary was most definitely not the first!
    The overall profile of these migrants are mostly economic, poorly educated, with a diminished sense of social integration, largely due to their Islamic roots and country of origin. These people have proved themselves to be a social menace within the borders of a so called democratic European countries. This vote is all about to lessen the social impact of admitting these free loading, counter cultural hoard of economic migrants, with radicalist viewpoints of subversion and possible terrorism . This vote is also message to the Brussels Dictatorship that they have taken one step too far as they have seriously misunderstood and misjudged and underestimated the British people in the recent Brexit Vote.
    Multiculturalism is a dead issue in Europe as no one can live with Muslims in peace; not even their own kind. Therefore please refrain from obfuscating the real issues!

  11. This was a poorly written and poorly thought-out piece. First, the referendum is not “anti-migrant.” Indeed, the proposition is pro-migrant in that a “yes” vote on the proposition results in a pro-migrant policy, i.e., the acceptance of quotas. In order to get an “anti-migrant” result, voters must vote “no” on the proposition. A truly anti-migrant” referendum would work in just the opposite manner, i.e., it would seek to advance a policy which harmed migrants and would require a “yes” vote to prevail.

    Second, Mr. Adam’s cartoonish moralism is unpersuasive. In his mind, either one is for mass, uncontrolled migration and a “yes” vote or one is totally lacking in any compassion. Really? Is it not possible to be compassionate while supporting limited, controlled migration in a manner that is advantageous (or at least not detrimental) to the host country as well as the migrants? I’d say yes. In fact, I’d say that the folks who mindlessly cheer mass migration without regard to the horrific consequences for the local population are the ones lacking in compassion. That would include you, Mr. Adam.

  12. András B. Göllner says:

    @ Edward Gorog

    Have you heard of the phrase – physician heal thyself ? Why not follow this sound advice before entering the public sphere with your ill informed remedies.

  13. András B. Göllner says:

    @ H Mulligan

    Nice try, but no cigar. Why don’t you listen to what more than 20 of Hungary’s top civil rights organizations, including the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, the Hungarian Europe Society, and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, had to say about your friend’s anti-refugee referendum:

    „This government is inciting hatred against refugees that will further weaken the already shattered social solidarity in our country. The government wants to create creatures who decide about public matters and the fate of others based on our worst instincts. Instead of informing people, the government seeks to eliminate the possibility of free citizens making rational, fact-based decisions. This referendum is incompatible with the concept of human rights.”

    This is what the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said about Hungary’s anti-refugee stance: “This is an entirely unacceptable infringement of the human rights of refugees and migrants. Seeking asylum is not a crime.”

    Got the message Mulligan ? Why not share it with your friend, Edward Gorog ?

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