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Guessing the mindset of anti-government protesters

December 24th, 2014

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.

No one has a clue about what exactly the demonstrators are protesting about, and a proper opinion poll would be timely, to reveal their motivations, Dávid Megyeri writes in Magyar Nemzet. The pro-government commentator has the impression that most rallies are attended by only a relatively small number of Hungarians and have been sensationalized by extensive media coverage (see BudaPost December 1). Megyeri contends that protesters as well as their speakers lack real content, beyond shouting anti-Fidesz slogans. Megyeri believes that the protests are simply provocations by radical far-left groups. But as the police are careful not to react violently, Hungarians are unlikely to sympathise with the demonstrators, Megyeri argues.

Protesters take to the streets because they are discontented with the government, Népszabadság writes, reviewing a recent opinion poll. In this non-representative quasi-qualitative survey, 1650 random participants of the December 16 anti-government rally were asked about their motivations and their political preferences. Although the organizers of the demonstrations like to claim that they protest against the past 25 years and the whole political establishment rather than just the current government, the survey suggests otherwise, Népszabadság remarks. 63 per cent said that they voted for the left-wing party alliance in the April Parliamentary elections, 19 per cent for the LMP and only 1 per cent voted for Fidesz. The majority of demonstrators said that they took to the streets because of their general and deep discontent with the Orbán government, and only 6 per cent had no clear party preferences. Népszabadság adds, however, that a single snapshot is not enough and more in-depth analysis would be necessary to learn more about the mindset and motivations of protesters.

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