Hungary Radical Nationalists Tied for Second in Poll, Ipsos Says

Hungary’s radical nationalist Jobbik party surged in polls and is now tied for second place among decided voters as support for Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s ruling party plunged, according to pollster Szonda Ipsos.

Jobbik is tied with the opposition Socialist Party at 24 percent support and trails the governing Fidesz party, which had 39 percent backing in December, according to results published on the Ipsos website today. Jobbik rose 4 percentage points from November while Fidesz fell by as much.

Orban, elected last year with a two-thirds parliamentary majority, in November asked the International Monetary Fund for financial assistance, reversing a policy of shunning international aid. The country lost its investment grade status at Moody’s Investors Service and the forint has been the second- worst performing currency in the world since June 30.

Jobbik backs starting negotiations to restructure Hungary’s debt, the highest among eastern European Union members at 81 percent of gross domestic product last year. The party campaigned on a platform of cracking down on crime linked to the Roma minority.

Fidesz leads all parties with 18 percent backing among eligible voters, Ipsos said. The Socialists are second with 11 percent and Jobbik third at 10 percent. Fifty-four percent said they’re “unsure or wouldn’t vote.”

The poll was conducted between Dec. 5 and 12 with the participation of 1,500 adults. The result has a 2.5 percentage point margin of error. The next parliamentary election is scheduled for 2014.

To contact the reporters responsible for this story: Zoltan Simon at zsimon@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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