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Approval rating of Hungary's Jobbik rises, Bajnai's Együtt 2014 loses appeal - Ipsos | Friday, 22 February 2013

The gap between the approval ratings of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party and the largest opposition party, the Socialists (MSZP), has widened, showed the latest survey of Ipsos published on Monday. The pollster said this and the increased popularity of the far-right extremist Jobbik party is attributable to the positive and negative messages the parties have started to pour on the public in their political campaigns. The group of those who cannot or do not want to support any party has also widened.

Among eligible voters Ipsos detected a 3 percentage point decline in the approval rating of the Socialist Party and a 1ppt drop in the rating of the ruling Fidesz party. The latter stands at 18%, against 13% of the MSZP.

Following a persistent erosion in its approval rating, the far-right nationalist Jobbik party had its approval rating grow to 8% from 6%, while the broken up LMP gathered 3%, just like in the previous Ipsos survey. The Democratic Coalition, helmed by former Socialist PM Ferenc Gyurcsány still boasts a 1% support among eligible voters. In the meantime, the ratio of those who are keeping their distance from any political party grew to 55% from 52%.

Among eligible voters with party preference, Fidesz scored a 43% approval rating, against MSZP’s 28%, Jobbik’s 16%, LMP’s 6% and DC’s 2%.

Putting Together 2014 Movement ('Együtt 2014’, helmed by former PM Gordon Bajnai) on the same map with political parties, we’ll find that its approval rating halved to 3% from 6% among eligible voters and dropped to 6% from 10% among voters with party preference.

Ipsos said that in mid-January the parties’ positive and negative campaigns had little impact on the approval ratings, but after a few weeks, the readings were affected - that of Fidesz dropped by a mere 1 percentage points, while that of the Socialists shrunk by 3 ppts.

The MSZP apparently lost those supporters who had voted for Fidesz in 2010 but then grew disappointed and said would support the Socialists. This group consisted of some 200,000-250,000 people (3% of the population), but in the current poll Ipsos did not find respondents who now support the MSZP and had voted for Fidesz three years ago. These people, however, did not return to beef up the voter base of Fidesz, rather joined those without any preferred party.

The approval rating of far-right radical Jobbik party has been either stagnating or declining for a long time, but now its camp has grown to show an 8% approval rating from 6% previously, Ipsos found. Its support grew mostly in the country, especially in cities.

Ipsos recorded the highest ratio yet of those who would not say which party they would vote for. Now 10% of the respondents would not divulge this information to the pollster.

Half of them kept to themselves any information that would have allowed Ipsos to guess their political affiliation. A telltale sign of their support for opposition parties is that 37% of them want a government change in the spring of 2014, while only 9% of them said they’d like to see the current cabinet remaining in office.

A majority, 64%, are discontent with the current situation of the country, while 22% had a positive view. It adds a hew to their political affiliation, though that 31% of the respondents said they were pro right wing, while only 20% support left-wing policies. A larger-than-average ratio of the respondents (37%) said they would probably turn out at the booths if elections were held this Sunday, whereas 45% said they would definitely go.

Ipsos said three months’ data allow to describe the composition of the Together 2014 movement’s supporting group. Their approval rating over the past quarter among eligible voters came to 4%, it said, adding that in the capital city Bajnai’s new formation enjoys a 9% support, which is enough for the third place behind MSZP and Fidesz. In towns of the country Together 2014 could expect 4% and in villages 3% of the votes.

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