Fidesz sees continued decline in popularity according to Republikon poll

We can say with a degree of certainty that the governing Fidesz party’s downward popularity numbers, as seen in the polls of the past months, represent a clear trend in Hungarian politics away from Viktor Orbán, who faces a national election in spring 2018. According to the Republikon poll released this week, Fidesz has dropped by 6% in the last quarter, while the opposition parties have together improved their standing by 8%. Over the past month, Fidesz saw a decline of 2%, the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) stayed steady with no change in its support, the Democratic Coalition and the small Együtt party improved their standing by 1% each and the fledgling Momentum Movement increased its base of sympathizers by 2%.

Nationally, when only looking at decided voters, Fidesz is now at 45%, MSZP garners 19%, Jobbik fell back slightly to 17%, DK reaches 6%, the Politics Can Be Different green party (LMP) checks in at 5%, Momentum achieves 4%, Együtt is up at 2% and the tiny Hungarian Liberal Party of Gábor Fodor stagnates at 1%.

Republikon points out that a mere five months after it was formed, Momentum’s support base is closing in on that of LMP, which has been represented in parliament since 2010. The current results suggest that Momentum stands a good chance of surpassing the 5% threshold for parliamentary representation.


When broken down by region, the left-wing opposition parties together surpass Fidesz’s popularity levels in two regions: Central Hungary (which includes Budapest and the surrounding Pest county) and southwestern Hungary. The left-wing is tied with Fidesz in southeastern Hungary. Fidesz, however, remains by far the strongest in some of the poorest regions of rural Hungary, especially the northeast and is also the strongest in the much more prosperous northwest, along the border with Austria.

Overall, 32% of Hungarians would like to see Mr. Orbán’s Fidesz govern for a third consecutive term after the 2018 elections, while 23% prefer a left-centre or liberal government. Just 12% of Hungarians would like Jobbik to form government. One third of Hungarians are undecided.

These polling results offer a small glimmer of hope for the opposition, but their continued in-fighting is hardly reassuring. This time, it is mainly between László Botka, the MSZP candidate for prime minister in 2018 and former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány of the Democratic Coalition. Mr. Gyurcsány had quipped that Mr. Botka was more inclined to meet with Viktor Orbán, and that he had met with him on more occasions, than with any left-centre opposition politician. It is true that Mr. Gyurcsány, after numerous attempts, managed to chat over the phone with Mr. Botka, who seems disinterested in these discussions.

Mr. Botka, however, called Mr. Gyurcsány a liar and added: “his person is the obstacle to a change in government.” Mr. Botka insists that MSZP is looking to partner with DK in the election, but that Mr. Gyurcsány cannot appear on a common party list. “He is Hungary’s most divisive and most rejected politician. He is the obstacle to a change in government. I regret that he does not understand this. His person seriously endangers the entire democratic side,” added Mr. Botka. But part of this reality is that DK does still attract a solid and steady 6% in support.

There is a very modest opportunity for compromise. If Mr. Gyurcsány agrees to not appear on a joint party list for the election, Mr. Botka seems willing to consider supporting his candidacy as a joint candidate in a single constituency riding.


  1. Avatar Gyula Bognár, Jr. says:

    The popularity of the Momentum “Party” proves, that in Hungary, not too many people desire a democratic, law abiding, problem solving, firm and good ideology forming party that would develop programs to solve the major problems of the Hungarian political morass. The Momentum is anything but a viable and valid political party. They are no better than the Fidesz.

    Populism and “follow the leader or else” is more common in Hungary, and in the countryside, where most people know each other and their political affiliation for a long time, many people have to vote as told by the mayor and his office, else they cannot make a living any more.

    The character and the methods of the Hungarian elections are not that different from elections in Afganistan or Iraq.

    Cheating, lying, corruption, coercion and self-censorship is rampant and the ruling party overseas the elections, making sure that the results are in their favor, no matter what happens and what kind of gross irregularities are reported. If necessary, Kubatov’s bald bodybuilders will also step in, or step into those, who don’t tow the line.

    In Hungary, democracy used happen every four years, but lasted only from the end of the line in front of a polling place to the voting box and ended once the vote was dropped into the box. Now even this little illusion had been eliminated.

    The little viktor diktator will not be voted out again, he swore it will never happen, according to his favorite quote; “even if gypsy babies are falling from the sky.” (or, No matter how much money that “Jewish financial speciulator, Soros” gives to the opposition!)


    It does not inspire confidence in Botka that he unapologetically joins the ranks of the Gyurcsany vilifiers, alongside Orban (who has used that baseless vendetta to cause so much damage already).

    No, Gyurcsany is not the cause of the opposition’s poor showing. The primary cause, of course, is Orban’s hate campaigns and disinformation. But the secondary one is the fragmented opposition’s suicidal infighting, completely losing track of the real objective, which is to rid Hungary of Orban. Instead, they are dutifully playing from Orban’s dissonant song sheet, blaming their failure on one another instead of dropping all their trivial distinctions and uniting under one new party banner: FidNemLesz…

  3. Gyula B

    Although you have many valid points above, don’t forget that Fidesz:
    – Lost the 2002 election which was considered in the bag.
    – Lost in 2006 again, giving the gov until then unprecedented (in the V4) second term.
    – Fid votes have been on a diminishing trend ever since.
    – There has never been such an orgy of blatant corruption in Hungary as now.
    – The Orban mafia rule feels pretty similar to the communist dictatorship in the countryside.

    These are factors to count in.

  4. It seems as if Mr. Botka is carrying on the tradition of a previous MSZP leader, Attila Mesterházy, not to mention, the tradition carved into stone by Viktor Orbán: the vilification, deamonization of the one person running in the upcoming elections who was able to defeat FIDESZ in a national election. The MSZP did not deserve to win in 2010. But surely, this is insufficient grounds for declaring that Mr. Gyurcsány, who broke with the MSZP, should clear out of the political arena. Gyurcsány respected the rule of law, which is more than what Orbán can say for himself. Orbán lost 4 national elections for FIDESZ, between 1990 and 2006. He made a sick joke about the rule of law, and were it not for massive EU subsidies, Hungary would be at the economic brink today. Governmental corruption is rampant, productivity of labor, economic competitiveness is below 2010 levels. 500,000 people have left the country another 375,000 indicated recently that they are packing, and yet Orbán is still at it. Botka’s personal attacks should perhaps be redirected. It’s the MSZP and FIDESZ that played ping-pong over Hungary’s hapless body politic during the past 27 yrs. Perhaps it’s time someone else had a go at governing than those, whose major claim to fame is their ability to engage in political affinity fraud.

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