A left-wing analyst urges the opposition to come up with a convincing alternative to the government before it is too late to run for the next parliamentary elections with any hope of success. READ MORE
A conservative columnist, commenting on a recent survey, warns that university students are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the mainstream Left and Right, and are turning to more radical parties. READ MORE
Commentators both on Left and Right believe that the campaign by media mogul Lajos Simicska against Fidesz has helped Jobbik to increase its popularity. READ MORE
As Fidesz’ support declines and Jobbik’s base strengthens, pundits from across the political spectrum wonder if and how Fidesz should react to the emerging radical right-wing challenge. READ MORE
A conservative pundit thinks that the recent anti-government demonstrations are nothing more than provocations by a motley crew of tiny but loud far-left groups. The leading left-wing daily cites a recent survey which suggests that the majority of the protesters are left-wing voters. READ MORE
Left-wing analysts comment on the latest opinion polls, and speculate that the governing party’s decline cannot be stopped. Liberal and moderate centrist commentators believe that any suggestion that the government’s fall is inevitable is mere wishful thinking. Conservative columnists call for more caution and sensitivity in the practice of government. READ MORE
A passionate liberal critic of the government is convinced that opposition parties are significantly underrated in public opinion polls, but no one can tell to what extent. “All we know is that we don’t know”, runs her headline.
In Népszabadság, András Boda and Tamás Lajos Szalay report that according to the latest polls the union of left-wing forces has not produced any positive results. Fidesz has consolidated its lead, while the Left has lost ground and leads by a mere one percentage point over the radical right-wing Jobbik party. Quoting experts they remark that slthough the figures differ according to the methods used by individual pollsters, the trends more or less converge.
In Élet és Irodalom, sociologist Mária Vásárhelyi recalls that 12 years ago pollsters grossly overrated Fidesz a week before the elections and instead of losing as they predicted, the Socialist Party turned out to be the winner. Apart from the lame Fidesz campaign and the success of the Socialists in mobilizaing their supporters, the main reason behind the mistaken predictions was that anti-Fidesz voters systematically declined to reveal their voting intentions, she suggests.
Since then, pollsters have encountered a steeply increasing tendency to hide voting intentions, and now have to make as many as 10 phone calls to get one respondent, or 4 door-to-door attempts to make one interview. Similar trends have been reported in other countries as well, as a result of the massive effort by commercial pollsters to sense various consumer preferences. Nevertheless, Vársárhelyi is convinced that in Hungary, refusal is systematically higher among those who are prone to vote against the present government. The reasons she gives are twofold. On the one hand, refusal rates are higher among highly educated people and they tend to be more hostile to the right wing than the average. On the other hand, people who feel they are part of a minority are less inclined to reveal their opinions on sensitive issues, and opposition voters, including far-right sympathisers, may feel that way because of the superiority of the pro-government campaign. On top of it all, Vásárhelyi is convinced that people feel more intimidated by the government than 12 years ago. All in all she is certain that the opposition will get more votes than their showing in the polls, but she does not dare to estimate how many more.
A political analyst commenting on the latest polls contends that far-right Jobbik has increased its support as a result of its more moderate image. A left-wing columnist accuses Fidesz of legitimizing Jobbik’s racist language and thereby strengthening the radical right-wing party. Another left-wing commentator is intrigued by the propensity among left-wing voters to feel nostalgic about the Kádár era. READ MORE
Analysts struggle to account for the gap between opinion polls and the results of local by-elections. They all agree that undecided voters without clear preferences or who are unwilling to share their views with pollsters, will have a major role in the 2014 election and thus parties will spare no effort to mobilize them. READ MORE