More than half of Hungarians consider the current ruling Fidesz–KDNP conservative party coalition to be capable of governing, but only a fifth of them think the same about the alliance of opposition parties, a poll conducted by the Nézőpont Institute on behalf of daily Magyar Nemzet indicates.
The image of each party is very important for the mobilization of their constituents, so roughly a year before the 2022 elections, the decisive question is which of the two competing party alliances is considered more suitable by voters to lead the country. The poll was focused on four specific areas: each side’s fitness to govern, create jobs, their respective commitment to democracy, and their ability to improve the conditions of the Roma minority.
According to the survey, the percentage of those who think the now ruling parties are fit for government is 54 percent, while only 21 percent think the six-party “cocktail opposition” is fit for the role. With regard to job creation, the ruling parties also have an overwhelming advantage: while 49 percent of those asked think them able to create jobs, only 20 percent believe the opposition can also do that.
It is particularly relevant that voters who call themselves anti-government are also critical of the opposition: only 39 percent of this group believe the left is capable of governing, and less than a third (32 percent) that they are fit for job creation. With general elections due in a year’s time, the ability of the country’s leadership will be a key issue for the campaign.
If the opposition’s own sympathizers are doubtful about their chosen parties’ ability to handle the epidemic or an economic crisis, the six opposition parties which seem to be headed for a joint platform despite ideological differences will go into the election campaign with a competitive disadvantage.
Given the fact that the left and its international allies often blame the governing parties for not respecting democracy enough, the poll also brought a surprising result in this respect. A higher proportion of Hungarians consider Fidesz–KDNP to be “committed to democracy” (38 percent) than they said in the case of the left-wing alliance (33 percent).
The current conservative coalition led by Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz has been in power since the summer of 2010 and Orbán himself is entering his 16th year as prime minister (he was also prime minister between 1998 and 2002).
The Nézőpont Institute’s poll was conducted between March 16, 2021 and March 17, 2021 by interviewing a thousand people by telephone. The sample is representative of the population over 18 years of age by sex, age, region, type of settlement and education. For a sample size of 1,000 and a 95 percent confidence level, the sampling error is 3.16 percent.
Title image: The Hungarian Parliament in Budapest at sunrise.