Chinks in Fidesz’s political armor

There is great excitement in opposition circles because today HVG published Medián’s latest opinion poll on the current standing of Hungarian political parties. Medián, which has the reputation of being the most reliable polling company, came out with results that seem to indicate that the solid, abnormally high public support for Fidesz-KDNP has suffered a considerable setback.

Medián’s previous polling results were published on December 13 with a rather depressing title: “The voting blocks are frozen and the opposition is increasingly disliked.” Fidesz at that point had the support of 60% of respondents who were definitely planning to vote. The only bright spot in the poll was that 56% of eligible voters were planning to cast their votes as opposed to the earlier Medián poll, published on November 1, which measured only 52%. The electorate was evenly split between those who wanted the Orbán government to stay and those who wanted a change of administration.

This was the situation in the first week of December, but by January 19, when Medián began its latest poll, “party preferences conspicuously changed.” Jobbik as well as the so-called democratic opposition parties moved up while Fidesz lost. This decline is especially striking among those who were determined to vote for Fidesz at the beginning of December. The earlier Medián poll recorded that 60% of active voters would have voted for Fidesz, but in the last few weeks this number shrank to 53%. That is a significant change.

There is, as the article written by Endre Hann and Zsuzsa Lakatos points out in today’s HVG, “a degree of uncertainty that has set in among Fidesz voters.” At the beginning of December, 75% of them said that they would definitely vote on April 8; today only 70% of them are sure. As for party support, I will include here the most important group’s results: those who have a preferred party and who will most likely vote. Here are the numbers: Fidesz 53%, Jobbik 18%, MSZP 11%, DK 9%, and LMP 6%. The rest: Együtt, Momentum, Two-Tailed Dog, Workers’ Party are all at 1%. (Red = electorate as a whole; green = active voters; yellow = can pick a party; teal = have a party and will vote.)

Endre Hann and Zsuzsa Lakatos believe that “the MSZP-Párbeszéd common list, standing at only 8% among the electorate as a whole, has the largest potential because 14% of those asked are considering voting for the party.” They attribute MSZP’s growing popularity to the party’s decision to ask Gergely Karácsony, the chairman of Párbeszéd and mayor of Zugló (District XIV), to be its candidate for the premiership. In Medián’s interpretation, Karácsony’s popularity and acceptance by socialists (90%), DK voters (81%), Jobbik supporters (42%), and even Fidesz (24%) is a sign that the MSZP-Párbeszéd ticket will be a strong draw.  But this is a bit misleading since the same Medián poll shows that although Karácsony leads the popularity list among the opposition candidates, his lead is not that substantial. Karácsony got 27%, but he is followed by Bernadett Szél (22%), Gábor Vona (21%), and Gyurcsány, who is not officially a candidate (19%).

There is no question that Gergely Karácsony, a boyish 42-year-old, is an extremely attractive candidate. He is soft-spoken and, unlike many of his compatriots, is ready for reasonable compromises. MSZP’s “face,” Ágnes Kunhalmi, a 35-year-old energetic woman, who accompanies Karácsony on his nationwide campaigning, is an equally sympathetic person. I admired the leadership of MSZP for realizing that there was no viable candidate within their own ranks to lead the troops into the election campaign and for having the courage to embrace someone from the outside.

Gergely Karácsony

I do, however, take issue with Medián’s conclusion that the recent pullback in support for Fidesz is in large measure due to Karácsony’s candidacy. First of all, one can go back as far as October 2017 when Iránytű Intézet spotted Karácsony as the most popular opposition politician. Practically every month and in every poll, he, Bernadett Szél, and Viktor Orbán were in the top three spots. Now that he’s officially MSZP’s candidate for prime minister and is extensively campaigning, he is much better known. With greater visibility (+12%) it’s not surprising that his popularity also went up. As I said, Karácsony is an extremely likable man.

But what really makes me doubtful about the direct connection between Gergely Karácsony’s candidacy and Fidesz’s loss of popularity is that MSZP gained only one percentage point in electoral support between the November and the January polls. It is still languishing at 11% among active voters. If Medián’s interpretation were correct, MSZP should have picked up at least two or three percentage points in additional support. Karácsony’s choice as MSZP’s candidate became finalized on December 12 and he, alongside Kunhalmi, began campaigning right away. Yet, five weeks later, when Medián began its most recent polling, MSZP’s support moved only from 10 to 11% as compared to the November Medián poll. Moreover, the other opposition parties also gained a percentage point or two.

What is dramatic in Medián’s latest poll is the 7% drop among Fidesz’s most active supporters.  So, something must have happened on the Fidesz side rather than among the opposition parties. And this “something,” I suspect, was the news that reached Hungary on January 11 that a day before Assistant Undersecretary Kristóf Altusz had revealed in an interview to The Times of Malta that in 2017 Hungary permitted almost 1,300 refugees to settle temporarily in the country. A few days later it became clear that “the government’s communication had collapsed.” Members of the government kept contradicting themselves. And the opposition parties launched a full-court press, attacking the government that for over two years had campaigned on the promise that no “migrant” will ever set foot on Hungarian soil. After a week, on January 16, the government finally made public the exact number and status of the accepted refugees. Three days later, on January 19, Medián began polling.

I propose that it was Fidesz’s propaganda going astray that caused Fidesz voters to have second thoughts about Viktor Orbán and his party. Most of Fidesz voters had believed the propaganda, and now they felt hoodwinked, cheated, taken for a ride. Not an unexpected reaction. And not surprisingly, the number of those who want the “cheating and lying” government out of office has risen. In November the population was equally divided on the subject. The satisfied group was almost as high (46%) as the dissatisfied one (47%). Now, however, 49% would like the Orbán government to be defeated and only 42% have remained faithful to Fidesz.

Of course, all this might be only a flash in the pan, but after months of discouraging sameness this latest turn of events shows the potential vulnerability of the governing party. If everything is bet on one card and something goes wrong, the result can be fatal. And yet the Fidesz strategy is still centered on the same old anti-migrant, anti-Soros propaganda which, I believe, is responsible for the polling setback Viktor Orbán just suffered.

February 1, 2018
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Member

There is plenty of time for the crafty criminals of Fidesz to regain a 2/3 lead again. They will buy the retired people again, by the pound for cheap. The countryside is all for them, so are those who vote in Transylvania.

There can be hundreds of students and volunteers, who are forging votes by the tens of thousands in basements of Budapest. The election committee that certifies the vote count is 100% Fidesz, the company that counts the votes is own by Fidesz criminals, the cheating is guaranteed.

I would not call the elections in April, or at any time in the last 20 years “elections,” they are just as fake as the Fidesz thieves, robbers, all the criminals that masquerade as the Government, and it goes for the district governmental offices too.

Hungary is neither a democracy, nor it is a legitimate society. It is a corrupt and virtual society, created by the viktor and his hoodlums with the use of their media.

Angel niceguy
Guest

Vote Jobbik. Keep FIDEZ honest

Observer
Guest

Guys,
Why these very Hun negatives? They are really pointless:
Firstly the parties’ reson d’etre is to fight campaigns, let them, support them. Would u prefer they too only moaned and sat on their hands?
Secondly even if not winning it’s important to reduce the Fid seats, to keep the organizations functioning, the powder dry, for
Third, there’s always the possibility that an exogenous factor may open an opportunity to tip the balance, the parties should be prepared and stand ready to exploit such opportunity.

Member

If the numbers are close, the cheating will get the boys 2/3 majority. Need a huge landslide vote against the Fidesz or a revolution.

Observer
Guest

Alex
Marty

Yeah, yeah, we agree, but ….

Most of what you write here is basically moaning that this is not good, they don’t understand, this will not succeed, we shall lose anyway… NOT GOOD, BOB!
(FYI up to WW2 included they used to flog or execute such ones in the ranks for undermining the moral of the troops).

Member

This is not a war and I am not a soldier.

Politicians exist to serve the public. I don’t take orders from them. If I think they are doing a piss-poor job, I am going to let them know about it.

Or not. As I please.

wrfree
Guest

👍👍👍👍

Member

“Would u prefer they too only moaned and sat on their hands?”

No, but until recently, that was their specialty.

“Even if not winning it’s important to reduce the Fid seats, to keep the organizations functioning, the powder dry.”

Right on!

“There’s always the possibility that an exogenous factor may open an opportunity to tip the balance, the parties should be prepared and stand ready to exploit such opportunity.”

One can hope. But if Viktor the Fox can empty out the Hungarian hen house, and convince a plurality of Hungarians that the culprit was actually a crafty octogenarian Jew, then this exogenous factor would have to be pretty weighty indeed.

Member

This poll shows Fidesz getting 53%. That’s how much they got in 2010. What makes you suspect their 2/3 is in danger? Barring some significant, unforeseen event, I will bet anyone a beer that Fidesz racks up at least 134 of the 199 seats two months from now.

dos929
Guest

Wholeheartedly agreed… The bag of dirty tricks the FIDESZ gang will employ is not yet emptied. They will use all the tools they can muster in order to stay in power, including trumped up charges against leading opposition figures. The only hope would be a popular uprising for which the 15th of March Remembrance Day is the last chance (if there is a chance at all…) before the elections. Unfortunately, reality on the ground is stronger than our wishful thinking regarding the various poll results that are not very reliable in the atmosphere of fear that got hold on the majority of the Hungarian voters. Also, the primitive wish of the masses to belong to the winning side, i.e. the FIDESZ, is a great obstacle for the opposition forces to overcome.

Member

Karacsony may be a nice guy, but I must insist that you cannot go through life with a name like Gregory New Year’s Eve Christmas and not get damaged somehow.

Marty
Guest

I agree with the analysis but to me these conclusions also indicate that if Fidesz can correct the ”mistake” committed by Altusz then Fidesz can gain again because voters didn’t suddenly get to like the opposition. The opposition is still stuck as ever.

This may be a negative spin but the point is still that the election is about Fidesz only.

The entire opposition from left to right is basically not much more than an extra in this Fidesz-show.

Let’s also remember that, coincidentally, Gergely Karácsony used to work at Median (perhaps before politics it was his only job), he was the face of Median in the media besides Hann.

Member

I did not know that about Karacsony. Thanks.

Marty
Guest

The reason why it’s unlikely that the changes can be attributed to the appearance of Karácsony is because he doesn’t say anything. Without message people will not vote for him or MSZP.

Will he (who – like all Socialists – loves ‘compromises’) let Fideszniks get away with murder? Will he do the same shit only with less corruption? Will he defend against the migrants? Will he defend against the multinationals? Will my taxes be cut? Pensions increased? What about health care? And so on. (OK, Karancsony actually promised a 13th month of pension giving back what Bajnai too away). None of the opposition parties really says much and that’s a problem as they cannot present an easy to grasp vision like Trump did.

tappanch
Guest

Rogan’s propaganda department spent 12.3 billion HUF on the anti-Soros campaign in 2017. Most of the money ended up in the pockets of Orban’s handpicked oligarchs.

https://atlatszo.hu/2018/02/02/tavaly-12-milliardot-koltott-sorosozos-reklamkampanyokra-a-kormany/

Guest

A bit OT:
Marty has often told us that only Fidesz understands the people, what they really want etc.
What I don’t understand:
Women are totally under-represented in Hungarian politics, their questions, ideas and problems – and of course they are also underrepresented in parliament. Don’t they care at all? Are they happy with this? (My wife is not – she often told me that she wouldn’t have started any kind of relation with me if I were like most Hungarian men, her former husbands e g)
Of course I know that Hungary is a backwards patriarchal society but still …
And even more OT (or not?):
By accident this morning I saw statistics on the new German parliament and found the same story:
Only 20% of theconservative CDU members are women – only 10% of the extreme right wing AfD!
While the Social Democrats manage 40 % and the Greens and the Left have a female majority of parliament members (pun intended) 🙂

Marty
Guest
Wolfi, good question. The received wisdom – true or just an illusion – is that even women don’t vote for women in Hungary. You also know exactly that Orban selects the candidates himself and he simply doesn’t trust women. There are people (like Sándor Csányi the arch oligarch) for whom loyalty is the absolute determining issue and they just don’t consider women to be as loyal as man so they cannot be in a real position of influence (in very exceptional cases, e.g. when they work for intelligence etc. they are trusted to occupy some mid-level position). Hungary is a very patriarchal society where family is of paramount importance. All social research indicate that for women family and children are the most important issues/life goal – and it is in those they completely fail ending up having very few children. And now even those children end up leaving for the West. Also it’s a catch 22: women cannot long for real, rewarding jobs because there aren’t any available, especially in rural regions. You are lucky to work at Bosch on some conveyor belt. Who likes that? Also there are no role models. So no wonder women go back to traditional… Read more »
Guest

No Marty – it’s not the women’s fault, it’s the society’s and the party’s fault – just like in Germany and other so called Christian countries!
I gave the example of our Green party where women are encouraged.
But in a way you’re right – and I’m right too:
Hungary is at least 50 years behind and that won’t change soon, so run away as fast as possible!

PS:
Of course most of the Westerners don’t care – they profit nicely from this!
Whether it’s the tourists at the Balaton, those guys that go to Budapest “to have some fun” or the companies which get cheap workers …
And in big politics Hungary (like the other in V4) is in the group “ferner liefen”, totally irrelevant.

PPS:
The fun fact for me is that those conservative Christian people’s ideas re the position of women (and of course xenophobia, fear of LGBT people, you name it…) are really the same as in conservative Islam – so why do they fight? They just use another name for their “god” …

Marty
Guest

Nobody ever said it’s their fault.

Guest

So it’s the fault of Hungarian men – who vote for Fidesz even when they see their misogyny every day (among other things) and we are back to square 1 – as my wife is wont to say:
Most Hungarian men are bunko paraszt – they get what they deserve.
But the women are partially responsible – they might try to change the men’s minds!
And if the other Balkan countries come into the EU we’ll have more “happy barracks” again …

wrfree
Guest

Re: the ‘happy barracks’

To some even today it could mean the ‘best of times’. Thing is they walked around in two minds very easily. Can’t help thinking it’s ‘same old same old’.

The state is some ‘realtor’. If minds could be considered real estate they have to make crummy landlords. Once they get the deposit the property cannot sustain itself with the tremendous rent that has to be paid.

Member

Median may have a reputation as most accurate Hungarian pollster, but I have begun to question their data. Before the CEU-related protests, Median was recording sky-high popularity ratings for Fidesz, 8-10% higher than the other polling agencies. During the CEU protests, Median brought its projections back into line with the others’, while the others’ projections remained statistically unchanged.

The CEU protests fizzled rather quickly. I do not know of any Orbanites who switched sides as a result of Lex CEU, except the one woman who stood to lose her job at the university.

During the ensuing anti-Jewish hysteria campaign, Median’s Fidesz numbers began creeping up again. Now they have dropped, just like during the protests. I will have to see similar drops in other pollsters’ numbers before I believe that Fidesz’s support has actually weakened.

wrfree
Guest

Re: ‘Median…reputation as most accurate pollster’

Perhaps it would be good to compare them alongside Pew. The pollster’s reputation is one of integrity in data assimilation and projection.

Re: the 7% drop in Fidesz voters due to ‘being taken’

If the electoral field is a battle opposition leaders have been given a clue on the Fidesz ‘weakness’. It’s their playing with the truth. It’s the breach they should keep on hitting for all its worth.

And the fact that ‘news’ outside of the country brought the questioning on could perhaps mean the population is arguably at the point where they could be experiencing a ‘wearout’ to the constant haranguing and strident type of orations coming from Fidesz. Even if media is virtually completely controlled there is always the possibility of ‘tuneout’ with discrimination towards listening to alternatives.

Perhaps from now on the population will listen harder to outside sources to see how their government fairs on its ‘truth quotient’. Maybe they’re tired of getting sandbagged continually on what’s going on. Time to stop being duped.

Marty
Guest

OT:

Just to settle this question once and for all.

EU subsidies will never ever depend on the democratic behavior of a member state.

Especially because six new Balkan states will be admitted in 2025 and their political leadership will also steal everything and are far from being democratic and never will be democratic.

This isn’t how it works. The EU is ONLY about free trade and commerce. About capitalism. Capitalism doesn’t require democracy as it can work fine under any political leadership.

Liberals must realize that finally. Democracy has nothing to do with the EU. Never was, the liberals got duped. Time to wake up at last.

https://444.hu/2018/02/02/aligha-kotik-a-demokracia-allasahoz-az-eu-s-penzeket

Member

What makes you certain that the six Balkan nations will be admitted in 2025? I have read the reports and its sounds like a PR move to me.

The EU would be monumentally stupid to admit Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo. Especially since I predict Orban is going to try to pull Hungary out of the EU the minute ESI dries up in 2020.

Marty
Guest

The money will not dry up in 2020 that’s a myth. The money will continue to flow because this is how the game is played poor regions open up their market in exchange for some dough (that is duly gets stolen by the corrupt government or the local mafia). This is how it’s always been played.

Given the already existing anti-EU sentiment and propaganda many countries would indeed leave without the money but the bureaucrats can’t have that. They have their cushy, prestigious jobs too keep.

The UK was a special case, the EU is probably stronger for Brexit but the West can ill afford to be so manifestly unattractive that other members could leave such an historic community.

Member

I said ESI dries up. Cohesion policy will continue but I sincerely doubt Orban will be able to profit as richly as he did under the 2014-2020 cycle.

tappanch
Guest

January 1, 2018:
Orban government introduced new court procedures. It will be much more difficult for poor people to start a court case as plaintiffs or to defend themselves.

The starting point is the proper filing of a 20-page form.
New discovery is not admitted after the initial, pre-trial phase.
Plaintiffs (and defendants) have to hire lawyers in most cases.

http://nepszava.hu/cikk/1151790-birosagi-kaoszt-hoz-az-uj-perrendtartas

tappanch
Guest

EU commissioner Oettinger does not want to connect the EU financial support to the existence of democracy in a member state in the 2021-2027 budgetary cycle.

https://444.hu/2018/02/02/aligha-kotik-a-demokracia-allasahoz-az-eu-s-penzeket

Guest

Oettinger is one of the ugliest “conservative christians” that I’ve ever seen. The only good thing about him was that the way he did his job as our prime minister of Baden Württemberg made many voters move to the Green party which has been in government ever since.
That they sent him to Brussels might really be considered a proof of the stupidity of the EU …

tappanch
Guest

The ratio of (eligible (Transylvanian+Serbian+…+phony) mail-in voters) /(all voters) reached the 4.1% mark today.

tappanch
Guest

2014.04.01. vs 2018.02.02.

Natural growth (births-deaths) of the population: – 1.40%
Population of Hungary: – 0.99%
Eligible voters with Hungarian addresses: – 0.95%
Eligible voters in the electoral districts #2,3 & 4 of Szabolcs-Szatmar county: +2.94% (6729 people)

Registered voters with no Hungarian addresses :
(Transylvanian+Serbian+…+phony): +72.27%

Situation in Szabolcs-Szatmar:

http://168ora.hu/itthon/utananeztunk-szabolcsban-gyurcsany-demonizalt-ukran-nyugdijasainak-144638

tappanch
Guest

New evidence that parliamentary committee chairmen L. Rogan and E. Banki, did not even observe the Fidesz law in the “bond for green card” scheme when they awarded the opportunity to 8 intermediary companies. These (7 out of 8) offshore companies linked to Rogan and Fidesz collected about $650 million in profit.

https://g7.24.hu/allam/20180202/hemzsegtek-a-szabalytalansagok-roganek-letelepedesi-kotvenyprogramjaban-buntetougy-lehet/

In
2013: 430
2014: 1783
2015: 1145
2016: 1245
2017: 1982

transactions took place. (total: 6585)

Hungarian State Special Dept Fund (Cayman Islands; Hong Kong) owned by three companies registered in the British Virgin Islands:
5140 transactions
[2013.03.04 – 2017.03.31]

Arton Capital Hungary Pénzügyi Tanácsadó Kft. (Budapest): 746
[2013.05.27 – 2017.03.31]

VolDan Investments (Liechtenstein): 465
[2013.06.10 – 2017.03.31]

Innozone Holdings (Cyprus): 122
[2013.04.29 – 2017.03.31]

Migrat Immigration Asia (Cyprus; Seychelles): 17
[2015.12.15 – 2017.03.31]

Early termination (three companies):

Euro-Asia Investment Management Ltd (Singapore): 41
[2013.06.10 – 2015.12.15]

Discus Holding (Malta) : 43
[2013.04.29 – 2015.12.15]

S&Z Program (Liechtenstein): 11
[2013.06.10 – 2014.09.25]

https://g7.24.hu/allam/20180202/hemzsegtek-a-szabalytalansagok-roganek-letelepedesi-kotvenyprogramjaban-buntetougy-lehet/

http://www.parlament.hu/web/gazdasagi-bizottsag/informacio-a-letelepedesi-magyar-allamkotvenyrol