Századvég-Forsense came out with the first poll since the break-up of the coalition. There are a fair number of pollsters in Hungary: some are better than others. I personally find Gallup the least reliable. While all others (Századvég, Médián, Marketing Centrum, Tárki, Szonda Ipsos) come out with similar results, Gallup is occasionally off by ten points. Századvég is the foundation established by Fidesz; to this day it is headed by István Stumpf. Therefore it is often accused of coming out with results favorable to Fidesz. But the differences are not huge, and I find Századvég quite reliable.
The polling took place between May 5 and May 15, that is, after the breakup of the coalition. The big loser seems to be SZDSZ, whose support shrank to one percent, while the winner seems to be MSZP. According to the poll, at least half of the SZDSZ supporters switched allegiance and today would vote for MSZP. Népszabadság summarizes the results thus: "If the elections were to take place this Sunday, Fidesz would receive 30%, while the MSZP would receive 13% of the votes. Since April Fidesz lost two percentage points while MSZP gained three…. However, the difference is still very substantial." Indeed, it is substantial, but today the difference between the two parties is 17% while in April it was 22%. MDF's popularity went up a bit: it finds support among four percent of all eligible voters and two percent of those who definitely would vote.
Yet it's difficult to draw far-reaching conclusions based on this poll because of the large number of non-respondents. A few months ago the number of those who indicated that they had no intention of voting was high. This number decreased somewhat. Seven percent of those questioned responded that they would definitely not cast a vote. Twenty-three percent are undecided, and twenty-one percent refuse to answer. In brief, because over half the sample didn't opt for a party, one can draw only the most tentative of trend indicators based on these results.
Finally, Századvég-Forsense asked questions concerning people's opinion about a possible change of government. Forty-nine percent think that early elections would be a good idea. Forty-eight percent think that an MSZP minority government will not last until 2010. But forty-one percent think that it will finish its four-year mandate. These numbers may be more telling. Here, at least, 51% percent of the people aren't responding "I don't care," "I don't know," or "it's none of your business." Although one certainly cannot conclude that those who think that the government will serve out its term would support the MSZP in 2010, perhaps the difference between the two sides is smaller than the 30%-13% split would indicate.