Hungary’s Socialists gain, Jobbik falters in new poll

Just over a year before the 2018 elections, a new poll suggests that the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) is seeing a modest rise in its popularity, while Jobbik is continuing a trend that has been apparent for months–the party that is trying to move away from its far-right roots is faltering. According to a poll released Sunday by the Publicus Intézet and first appearing in the Vasárnapi Hírek weekly, 25% of voters support the governing Fidesz party, with MSZP in second place at 13%, Jobbik at 10%, the Democratic Coalition at 4% and the Politics Can Be Different green party (LMP) polling at just 3%. The tiny, liberal Együtt party hovers at just 1% and 43% of those questioned are undecided.

Publicus poll / January 2017.

According to the Publicus poll, support for Fidesz remains unchanged this month, while both MSZP and DK gained one percent each and Jobbik lost one percent. MSZP last saw a modest increase in support in September 2016, and since then its popularity has remained unchanged, until the current modest rise. As well, Publicus found that MSZP’s voters remain highly active and committed to voting in an election. This is in stark contrast to the average Jobbik voter, who is less likely to actually cast a ballot. The proportion of undecided voters remains unchanged from December, but it is 5 points lower than where it stood a year ago, in February 2016.

According to Publicus, “the left-wing opposition is starting to show signs of life.”

“As we turn to the election year, voters are beginning to look to the left-wing opposition forces…On the left, the process of choosing a leader has begun and this has turned the attention of voters towards them. For the first time this term, MSZP has surpassed the 10% to 12% range and its lead over Jobbik is now outside the margin of error,” writes the Publicus Intézet. The Publicus poll is based on telephone responses from 900 adult Hungarians and the margin of error is 3.3%

How the opposition handles the possible nomination of a joint candidate for prime minister, and whether they continue to keep discussions surrounding the possible candidacy of MSZP’s László Botka both civil and private, not succumbing to public discord on the pages of Hungary’s newspapers and websites, will undoubtedly influence the trajectory of the left-wing opposition in the coming months. It will also be worth watching how the Momentum Mozgalom’s thus far successful and highly visible NOlympics campaign impact polling numbers next month.


  1. “the left-wing opposition is starting to show signs of life.” Well, they are not “left wing”, they do oppose but not effectively, as for the signs of life, it must be the vegetative kind. It would be nice to have real liberals in Hungary. But even more so, it would be so, so nice to have anyone on power who has the balls to lower taxes. Taxes are choking everyone. 27 per cent VAT is one example. It is also extremely expensive for an employer to have an employee even on minimum wage, which is so little, it is practically useless. You can’t live off of it if you have children and pay rent… it’s not enough.

  2. But according to the TARKI not. See the relevant article of HVG. HVG

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