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Hungary's Socialists Narrow Gap With Orban, MTI Reports

Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Hungary’s Socialists, the biggest opposition party, narrowed the gap with Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s ruling party this year as the radical Jobbik lost support, state news service MTI said, citing an Ipsos poll.

Orban’s Fidesz had 19 percent backing among eligible voters, compared with 16 percent for the Socialists, MTI said, citing a Dec. 4-11 survey of 1,500 adults. In January, Fidesz led the Socialists 16 percent to 11 percent, MTI said.

Former Premier Gordon Bajnai’s opposition alliance, Egyutt 2014, formed two months ago, was tied for third place with Jobbik with 6 percent backing, Ipsos said, according to MTI, which gave no margin of error.

Support for Jobbik fell to the lowest since January 2011 after one of its lawmakers called for the compilation of a list of Jewish government members and lawmakers to assess whether they pose a national security threat. The move last month was condemned by all other political parties.

The poll was conducted before student protests erupted this week across Hungary against government plans to introduce tuition fees and cut state-subsidized places at universities.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zoltan Simon in Budapest at zsimon@bloomberg.net

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

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