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hun_0305_1
(03/05/08) -

Fidesz Maintains Solid Support in Hungary

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The Hungarian Citizens Party (Fidesz) continues to have wide popular support, according to a poll by Gallup Hungary. 67 per cent of decided voters would back the main opposition party in the next general election, up one point since December.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The Hungarian Citizens Party (Fidesz) continues to have wide popular support, according to a poll by Gallup Hungary. 67 per cent of decided voters would back the main opposition party in the next general election, up one point since December.

The governing Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) is second with 23 per cent, followed by the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) with four per cent, and the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) with one per cent.

Hungarian voters renewed their National Assembly in April 2006. The MSZP and the SZDSZ secured 210 of the legislative branch’s 386 seats, securing a full term for Socialist prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsany. Fidesz, led by Viktor Orban, elected 164 lawmakers. In June 2006, Gyurcsany introduced a fiscal "austerity package" of state subsidy reductions and tax increases, aimed at lowering the country’s fiscal deficit.

In September 2006, Gyurcsany was criticized after Hungary’s state radio aired portions of an audiotape—which had been recorded in May—in which he told members of the MSZP that his administration "lied throughout the past one and a half or two years" about the state of the country’s economy in order to win re-election. The prime minister’s words sparked a two-week riot that threatened to end his government. Since mid-2007, Fidesz leader Orban has repeatedly called for an early legislative election.

On Jan. 23, Hungarian president Laszlo Solyom—who is backed by Fidesz—said a national referendum will take place on Mar. 9 in order to revise some economic measures proposed by Gyurcsany’s government. The prime minister wants to slash the country’s fiscal deficit by charging extra fees for doctor and hospital visits as well as for university tuition fees. Fidesz fiercely opposes these proposals.

On Feb. 26, said Krisztian Szabados, head of the Political Capital consultancy in Budapest, explained the prime minister’s rationale for introducing economic reforms, saying, "Gyurcsany has started a reform program which is essentially a conservative reform program, privatization, helping the stock market and the middle classes."

Polling Data

If an election were held today, what party would you support?
(Decided Voters)

 

Feb. 2008

Dec. 2007

Sept. 2007

Hungarian Citizens Party (Fidesz)

67%

66%

59%

Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP)

23%

23%

27%

Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF)

4%

4%

5%

Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ)

1%

3%

3%

Source: Gallup Hungary
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,023 Hungarian voters, conducted from Feb. 20 to Feb. 26, 2008. Margin of error is 3.2 per cent.