Former PM Bajnai redraws Hungary's political map

 

A new movement, the 'Együtt 2014' ('Together 2014') association helmed by former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai has become the country's second most popular political force just days after it was founded, an opinion poll conducted by Medián showed on Thursday. 'Együtt 2014' enjoys a 14% support among eligible voters, versus the ruling Fidesz party's 22% approval rating, 10% for the Socialist Party (MSZP) and far-right extremist party Jobbik, 3% for green party LMP and 1% for the leftish Democratic Coalition (DK). Without the appearance of Együtt 2014, MSZP would have stood at 17%, its best performance since the elections. Instead, the party's popularity sank to 10%, the same leve las far right Jobbik. Another party that suffered is DK. However, one must keep in mind that Gyurcsány announced even before October 23 that if Bajnai is ready to enter the ring, DK will support him unconditionally. One cannot make such an excuse for MSZP because there were unwilling to commit themselves to a common platform and some of the more sanguine MSZP leaders proclaimed that, standing alone, MSZP could win against Fidesz even under the new electoral law that highly favors Fidesz.

One of Hungary's most popular political analyst Gábor Török wrote on his blow that: "Együtt 2014 - if it ran in the elections alone - would beat MSZP. If they run together, they would beat Fidesz. Bajnai's popularity grew by 7 percentage points and is now at 41% (vs. Orbán's 29%)." Török noted, however, that one poll means nothing, but if we see similar results in the future, it will not be easy to resist the Bajnai project on the left side of the political map.

The data clearly show that 'Együtt 2014' won many supporters over from the Socialist Party and also offered an alternative choice for those who had no party preference or did not feel like voting at all. The latter group constituted 46% of eligible voters last month, while it shrank to 37%, which marks the smallest rate of uncertainty for the past 12 months.

Medián said support for the new political entity feeds from two main sources:

• originally, more than 40% of the formation's supporters would have gone for the Socialists,

• while another 36% of them had previously showed no interest in any party.

Former PM Gordon Bajnai's popularity has also increased substantialy. Endre Hahn, managing director of Medián, on economic portal hvg.hu said: "Gordon Bajnai's popularity has been showing a rising trend since the end of his premiership, but especially since the middle of last year, and since May he has finished ahead of Viktor Orbán too. Moreover, the popularity index of the former premier went up seven percentage points (to 41% from 34%) compared to the last month's reading. The only person with a bigger approval rating is President János Áder (43%). The president's popularity most likely has little to do with Áder's personality. Traditionally Hungarians feel that they must like the president. Regardless of whether the president is well regarded or not, he always heads the list. Even in early 2012 the first half of the popularity ranking comprised government politicians. Now the President is followed by Bajnai and two opposition politicians, Gergely Karácsony of MP and the Socialist Attila Mesterházy (with 36% and 35%, respectively)."

Aamong decided voters with a firm party preference Fidesz has a 38% support, followed by Együtt 2014 (22%) and MSZP (15%), who would be almost on the same shelf should they join forces. Then with LMP's 4% and DK's 3% - staying under the treshhold if they ran alone - they would beat the ruling party if elections were held this Sunday.

Source: HVG, Medián, Portfolio.hu, Hungarian Spectrum

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 09:11