Hungarian Opposition May Struggle to Unite Voters, Poll Says

  • Divide between left-wing, Jobbik voters seen hard to bridge
  • Index cites joint survey with Zavecz Research on voting trends

The majority of Hungarian opposition voters wouldn’t vote outside their own political camp, even if that was needed to defeat Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s party in the April 8 election, a survey by the Index news website and polling company Zavecz Research showed Tuesday.

Forces opposing Orban’s poll-leading Fidesz party, galvanized by a municipal by-election victory last month, need to overcome divisions within their ranks to oust the premier. They include Jobbik, a radical nationalist group that’s been moving toward the political center and a collection of leftist, liberal and green parties that have a history of bickering among themselves and have traditionally avoided alliances with Jobbik.

Among Jobbik voters, fewer than 20 percent would vote for a "left-wing" candidate. Conversely, about a quarter of other opposition voters would be willing to vote for a Jobbik nominee as a way of uniting the anti-Fidesz vote, the poll showed.

On a nationwide level, Fidesz has led all opinion polls, with Jobbik second. The Index-Zavecz survey, which didn’t provide figures on party popularity, was carried out on a "national representative sample" in February, before the Fidesz by-election defeat in Hodmezovasarhely. No margin of error was given.

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