Party preferences remain unchanged
With the exception of ruling party Fidesz, voter support for all Hungarian parties remained stagnant in December, according to a survey by Ipsos. Backing for Fidesz dropped a percentage point to 26% among all voters while the main opposition Socialist Party scored 15%. Radical nationalist party Jobbik was favoured by 7%, E14-PM by 3%, and the Democratic Coalition (DK) and LMP notched up 2% each. Ipsos said there are 2.5 million voters out of a total of around 8 million who indicated an intention to cast their ballots. Among decided voters, 47% backed Fidesz and 27% favoured the Socialists. Jobbik mustered 12% while E14-PM had 6%. DK and LMP were on 3% and 2%, respectively. Ipsos said 43% of its sample was uncommitted to any party.
Jobbik to surprise at election, leader vows
Radical nationalist Jobbik will surprise at the general election, leader Gábor Vona said. Jobbik plans to focus on positive messages and presenting its programme during the campaign instead of the “mudslinging” of ruling Fidesz and the main opposition Socialists. Jobbik wants to present a viable alternative that is able to govern for all citizens who have become disillusioned with the ruling parties of the past 23 years, Vona said, adding that such citizens now represent the majority. Jobbik is the only party that dares state what the real problems are and that can resolve them, he said.
Gyurcsány: opposition failing to win new supporters
The governing parties stabilised and even improved their position in 2013 while the opposition failed to raise its voter support, opposition DK head Ferenc Gyurcsány has told commercial channel ATV. Gyurcsány said the polling agencies seemed to be overestimating support for the governing parties to the detriment of the opposition forces. He added, however, that there is a sentiment of desire for government change among voters. The ex-premier said that if latest polling data are accurate and Fidesz has the support measured among the whole electorate, this would amount to the same landslide victory Fidesz had bagged in 2010. “But that would mean 3 million voters and I do not see that kind of support in the country, so something is wrong here.” Gyurcsány said he was convinced that Medián had not manipulated its results. Instead, many people seem to be unwilling to disclose their real preferences. He conceded however that opposition parties were not satisfying many voters and were not making it clear enough what they would do differently if in power.
Mesterházy demands new deal with E14-PM
The Socialist Party leader has told Gordon Bajnai that their election agreement must be rewritten. Attila Mesterházy insisted that E14-PM had changed its plans about how it would run in the election. Mesterházy was most likely reacting to a comment Bajnai made: “We must give back faith in victory to all those that want a change of government. E14-PM believes that this requires the closest cooperation, with the possibility of a joint list, between opposition forces with considerable public support,” he told commercial television ATV. Mesterházy welcomed Bajnai’s offer to consult on expanding the opposition alliance agreement. Currently DK and E-PM are neck and neck in polls. Bajnai and Mesterházy had a three-hour first round of talks, after which E14-PM co-leader Viktor Szigetvári said all issues that may help the opposition win the spring election had been put on the table. “The two parties should make every possible effort to oust Fidesz from power and reach an agreement that would help canvass undecided voters,” he said. “The parties seek to reach an agreement as soon as possible so that there should be a single left-wing candidate in each of the 106 constituencies, and no vote cast on an opposition candidate should go lost.” Both parties consider their electoral agreement as a starting point and neither proposed terminating it, the co-chair noted. Szigetvári said E14-PM had not officially contacted the leftist Democratic Coalition (DK), led by ex-PM Ferenc Gyurcsány.