Opposition party support rises, Fidesz dips slightly after CEU affair

The Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) and Jobbik have both seen their support rise, while Fidesz dipped slightly in the newest Republikon poll. While the series of mass protests, the contentious anti-CEU legislation and Jobbik’s billboard campaign against Fidesz corruption have resulted in a modest boost in popular support for the two largest opposition parties, all of these events have had little measurable impact on the governing party’s levels of support.

Republikon polling numbers for April 2017 look like this (with the change from March 2017):

  • Fidesz: 29% (-1%)
  • MSZP: 12%  (+2%)
  • Jobbik: 12% (+3%)
  • Democratic Coalition (DK): 3% (-1%)
  • Lehet Más a Politika (LMP): 3% (No change)
  • Együtt: 1% (-1%)
  • Momentum: 1% (No change)
  • Liberals 1% (No change)
  • Undecided/No response: 38% (No change)

Republikon Intézet / 24.hu

The proportion of Hungarians who would like to see Fidesz continue governing fell from 50% to 47% in April, while the proportion of voters who preferred to see a left-liberal coalition take power rose from 28% to 30%. The proportion of Hungarians preferring a left-liberal coalition government is at its highest level since Republikon began asking this question. Nearly one-fifth of Hungarians (19%) would like to see Jobbik form the next government.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Republikon poll had to do with research into the ideological composition of the various parties. For instance, just 26% of Fidesz supporters describe themselves as conservative first and foremost, while 20% are better described as “law and order” supporters. Just 17% see themselves as “strongly patriotic” and a mere 13% are religious. Just under 11% of Fidesz supporters describe themselves as “liberal.”

Among the left-liberal parties, 33% of supporters define themselves as being “socialists,” 20% as “liberals,” 12% as “conservative” and 10% as green/environmentalist. Approximately 1% of left-liberal voters define themselves first and foremost as religious.

Among the large number of undecided voters, 30% did not respond to the question of ideology, which would suggest that these individuals have probably removed themselves completely from the political process and are unlikely to vote. However among undecideds, 27% identified as one of the following: liberal, socialist, green, social democratic. This group may still be mobilized by the left-liberal opposition parties, which means that the opposition has a pool of thus far untapped potential voters. As well, approximately 24% of undecided voters see themselves as “conservative,” yet are not supportive of Fidesz or Jobbik. A centrist party might have an opportunity to make inroads with this group–though, it must be noted, that Együtt has tried to do just that, yet they has made no real progress in the past years.

Ultimately, Republikon’s polling numbers tell us that despite mass protests in Budapest, uncertainty and chaos around government actions against CEU, polling numbers in April have shifted only modestly. The core group of Fidesz voters appear immune to all debates concerning academic freedom and rule of law.

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