New poll spells trouble for Orbán ahead of Hungary’s referendum

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s national referendum against so-called EU-wide “migrant quotas”, scheduled for October 2nd, will likely be invalid, with fewer than 50% of eligible voters casting ballots. The Medián polling firm–perhaps the most reputable pollster in Hungary–was commissioned by the hvg.hu news site to conduct a poll less than a week before the national referendum. Only 42% of respondents indicated that they planned to participate in the Sunday plebiscite, falling well short of the minimum 50%-plus-one threshold. But of those participating, fully 83% plan to heed Prime Minister Orbán’s call and will vote “no” to EU migrant “quotas.” Only 13% will vote “yes” and 3% plan to cast an invalid ballot.

Fidesz and Jobbik supporters are equally likely to support the “no” side.  Among Fidesz supporters, the proportion voting “no” stands at 86%, while within the Jobbik camp this figure is slightly higher, at 88%. Fully 62% of Fidesz supporters plan to vote in the referendum, while the willingness to participate in this process is much lower among Jobbik sympathizers (47%).

Even supporters of left-centre opposition parties are more inclined to agree with Mr. Orbán in voting no (48%), although the proportion of left-wing voters that actually plans to cast a ballot on Sunday hovers at just 20%. The Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), the Democratic Coalition (DK) and the Együtt (Together) party have all called on their supporters to boycott the referendum.

The Medián poll cautions that the most recent figures may not reflect any potential impact from this past weekend’s explosion in Budapest and heightened fears surrounding public safety and terrorism. But Mr. Orbán, after not commenting on the bombing for 65 hours, did finally come out and note that there is no correlation between the incident and the refugee/migrant crisis. “Although we can’t completely rule it out, there are no signs to the contrary at this time, and this is reassuring,” said Mr. Orbán. The prime minister added that he instructed Interior Minister Sándor Pintér to “hunt down” the perpetrator and to “extract from him” the reasons behind his attack.

Viktor Orbán inspecting the border fence between Hungary and Serbia. Photo: Facebook.

Viktor Orbán inspecting the border fence between Hungary and Serbia on September 14th. Photo: Facebook.

Speaking to a website affiliated with the Hungarian Reformed Church, on why he does not believe it possible to integrate refugees and migrants from Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere, Mr. Orbán declared: “You need to have a wild imagination to think that masses of young Afghan men would marry into traditional German Christian families, or that Christians would marry into Muslim families. The best that we can hope for is peaceful co-existence, but not integration. This is what we call parallel societies.”

On Sunday, 8.3 million Hungarian citizens are eligible to vote in the national referendum. Of these voters, a total of 274,591 Hungarians living abroad and in the diaspora are registered to vote via mail-in ballot.

8 Comments

  1. András B. Göllner says:

    May it be true. The global disgrace that would follow a victory by Orbán, would be very hard to whitewash. Hungary introduced the first anti-Jewish laws of the 20th century in 1920. I guess Mr Orbán is itching to be the father of Europe’s first anti-refugee law of the 21st century.

  2. Charlie London says:

    I still think Orban will coast his Threatenerendum.

    Because of the way Hungarian society has to bite its tongue I believe that pollsters never get a true picture of what the electorate’s intentions are.

    The public workers, especially, have to bite their tongue as their government jobs are at risk.

    I also believe that many feel they have to vote ‘no’ in the Threatenerendum because of the ominous bar codes on the voting papers.

    Any vote can be traced back to the voter from information held on their databases – for example if you sent back responses to any of Orban’s previous ‘surveys’ then they know you are probably a Fidesznik – and they can focus on the others.

    So Orban’s foregone-conclusion-leading-question Threatenerendum will be a dark number right up to the ‘declared’ results. Remember there are too few opposition observers and the government organisation holds all the ballot-box keys – as a last resort Orban’s foot soldiers know what to do.

    As regards the ‘bomb’ which was real and a tragedy for two uniformed rendorseg – I believe it was timed to be a reinforcing ‘incident’ to ‘enhance’ the turnout for the Threatenerendum.

    The perpetrators came unstuck because of the prevalence of CCTV and the expected ‘witness’ to the police’s leading-question request “did you hear anyone scream ‘Alu Akbar'” didn’t come forward.

    I expect the perpetrators eventually to be found in the ‘Fradi’-thug fraternity. Just like when they tried to hinder the submission of the request for a reversal of the Sunday-trading laws.

    We will see.

    But I stand to lose a jar of Maple syrup and some Butter tarts!

    • Christopher Adam says:

      You may be right–Hungarians have been, in the past, notoriously cagey and dishonest in their dealings with pollsters. But one thing going for the “boycott camp” is that their message is the most comfortable–just stay home and enjoy your Sunday afternoon. For a nation that is fairly apathetic politically–especially on the opposition side and with undecideds–that may be a pleasant and easy message to hear.

      • Yes, Christopher!

        I take your point – and bad weather could make staying home even more comfortable.

        I’m hoping the boycott works, but have serious reservations.

        I’d rather send you the syrup and tarts!

  3. I said many times there is no need for referendum and billboard campaign.
    See how Austria makes it.

  4. Hungary if you don`t go with Unkle Vik, look forward to goat-brides, child-brides, sharia, burkas and stonings as the future of your proud nation. Just look at parts of the UK, please dont do it – cultural enrichment coming your way too if 50% not reached.

  5. András B. Göllner says:

    Hey Jo nut ! Are you ready for the end of the world ? Got you burka as you eat your uborka ?

    • A burka would suit you well Andras, you already are a eunuch but with a burka you would be able to acknowledge your female status…

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