Even in retrospect, the vast majority of Hungarians approve of the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, including the timing of the introduction and easing of restrictive measures, think-tank Nézőpont Intézet said in an analysis of a recent poll it conducted.
Looking at the weekly evolution of public opinion, the institute pointed out that while in mid-March, 94 percent of respondents approved of the extraordinary measures and still 85 percent agreed with them at the end of March, the latest poll conducted last week from Thursday to Saturday indicated that the approval rate dropped to 40 percent.
“For the first time since March, the number of those opposing the state of emergency became the majority, without this becoming a demand against the government. However, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán initiated an end the state of emergency this week, foregoing the demands of the opposition,” the report states.
The analysis added that from a political perspective it is even more important that the majority (78 percent) are of the opinion that it was justified for the government to have extraordinary powers for the past two months and only 17 percent disagree. Even among those critical of the government, there was a 50 percent approval rate of the government’s extended powers.
“All of those crying dictatorship and George Soros, Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk, the global liberal media and the Hungarian opposition have thus lost a major semantics battle”, the analysis said. “Not then, not now, and not afterwards do the majority of the Hungarian electorate agree with their reading of the state of emergency, as both its introduction and ending has the consensus of the Hungarian society.”
The poll – conducted on representative sample of 1,000 people over the telephone – showed that overall, 62 percent of Hungarians expect a second infection wave.
“Should this come true, the Hungarian opposition – in addition to apologizing, as suggested by Viktor Orbán – will also have the opportunity to learn from its mistakes and next time around support the extraordinary defensive measures instead of opposing them.”
Title image: A technician coordinates the online charity concert of Hungarian band Pannonia All Stars Ska Orchestra, streamed from a warehouse on May 24, 2020. (MTI/Márton Mónus)