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MSZP’s self-confidence may backfire

June 29th, 2012

A popular analyst suggests Fidesz may profit from the self-assurance Socialist leaders have been exhibiting lately as a result of recent trends in party preferences.

Gábor Török believes Socialist Party Chairman Attila Mesterházy’s claim that his party has caught up with Fidesz in terms of popularity is a . But the gap in party preferences has certainly narrowed significantly over the past two years. The polls have shown a “climate change”, which is certainly detrimental to the governing forces. Török thinks however that those changes in the political climate have their up-side as well for Fidesz. After their crushing defeat in the parliamentary elections in 2010, the Socialists appear relieved by the recent more favourable data, but the polls do not show a substantial growth in their popularity. What has changed was the exceptionally high rating of Fidesz, who are now backed by about 22 per cent of the population, compared to 50 per cent two years ago. The Socialists, during the same period, have only increased their own rating by a few points to about 15 per cent. But if they become overly optimistic at the sight of Fidesz’s falling popularity, they might feel no urgency either to change their structures, image and policies, or to prepare an electoral alliance with their potential allies. If they actually believe that they are neck and neck with Fidesz, they might well think that they can win all alone. “That might open great advantages for Fidesz in an election where the rules can easily convert a relative majority into an absolute one.

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