The newest prediction re the Sunday results

Vision Consulting, a political think tank closer to the right than to the left, outlined four different scenarios concerning the possible outcome of the referendum. The most likely, according to these political scientists, is that the referendum will be valid, i.e. enough people will go and vote, but the number of "yes" votes will not be higher than 2.5 million. Keep in mind that 2 million "yes" votes are necessary for the referendum to be successful. In this case, says Vision Consulting, Fidesz will not be satisfied. After all, Viktor Orbán was hoping for results so compelling that they would usher in a sweeping change. If the victory is not total as Orbán promised and hoped, he will be in some trouble. "While the radical elements within the party will demand the overthrow of the government, the coalition will try to divert the attention from the results of the referendum." In this case, the Fidesz will have to start another campaign. According to Vision Consulting, the most likely scenario will be more street demonstrations and a speech by Orbán in which he will outline a new "goal" to his followers.

Another scenario outlined by Vision Consulting is that the number of "yes" votes is substantial but the referendum is not valid, i.e. not enough people will participate. In this case "the interest of both sides is identical: to forget the referendum as soon as possible."

The third possibility, one that Vision Consulting considers unlikely, is the "total defeat of the MSZP." This would mean both that the referendum is valid and that "yes" votes swamp "no" votes–"if there were over three million ‘yes’ votes." In this case, the MSZP would try to explain the defeat as simply the defeat of these three questions and claim that their politics are unchanged. It means nothing. As Gyurcsány put it: "What will come after March 9th? March 10th!"

The least likely scenario is a total defeat of the Fidesz. Total defeat would mean that the referendum is not valid and the difference between the "yes" and "no" votes is not substantial. In this case, the Fidesz "failed both in mobilizing and persuading their followers."

This analysis was published today and most likely is based on polls conducted sometime last week. Since the number of people who indicate that they will take part in the referendum is steadily shrinking, there is still the possibility that these predictions may not be quite accurate.

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boiled beef and carrots
boiled beef and carrots

I am becoming increasingly of the view that the referendums may fail to pass. There are barely any posters, although perhaps Fidesz has all the voter names and addresses it needed through its campaign for the referendum. It wouldn’t be the first time that Fidesz has misjudged the mood of the people. Two million is their entire voter base and they need to get them all out. Having failed to do that in a general election, what chance is there in a referendum whose aims are not clear and at a time when most polls show that Hungarians are tired of politicians of whatever stripe.

The marketing is taking more subtle turns. This afternoon I got an automated call (most likely from Fidesz) asking me to respond by pressing ‘1’ for yes to referendum questions, and ‘2’ for no. I never responded. There are plenty of posters around and video ads on Hungarian websites. Fliers in postboxes too, particularly in Buda where Fidesz hope for the most support. I think, as has been noted here, that both sides are rather wary now to be seen to be making too much of an explicit effort as the result of the referendum may make their efforts look even more foolish. I would put the apathy down also to the fact that this year has not started as bad as last, people have accommodated themselves to the change in lifestyle and expectations demanded last year and a certain temperament change. Could it be that Hungarians in general are finding themselves more ‘rugalmas’ (flexible or adaptive)? What ever the reason, most people just want a quiet weekend and the opportunity to enjoy the 15th without some lame politician spoiling it again. Weather report so far indicates rain on the 15th. That also will decrease the numbers likely to go… Read more »
Odin's lost eye

Out here in the ‘boondocks’ I have seen little evidence that there is a referendum. No one seems interested in it. They just wants to get on with their lives. My wife has yet to receive her voting card (or whatever). What will Mr Orbán do if he wins? All he can do is to foam at the mouth. As “Mr Gyurcsány put it: “What will come after March 9th? March 10th!”” The Government will drop the ‘fees’ but will not replace the money from the Government’s coffers. So everyone looses and Mr Gyurcsány can blame Mr Orbán. If Mr Orbán tries a ‘putch’ the rest of Europe will come down on him like 10 tons of warm moist manure.