Medián, Szonda Ipsos - Fidesz support declines

Support for Hungary’s right-of-centre ruling Fidesz party has decreased again by another five percentage points among eligible voters since last month, shows the latest survey published by Medián. This confirms that the February turnaround was not a fluke, rather the beginning of a trend, the pollster said. Among those who are willing to vote, the ruling Fidesz-Christian alliance led the Socialists by 56-22 percent, showed the April poll. Fidesz backing dropped from 64 percent in February, while support for the Socialists went up from 19 percent. Those "leaving" Fidesz would now vote the Socialist Party (MSZP, + 3%), far-right Jobbik (+3%) or the minor green party LMP (+2%). The pool of floating voters hit a Median record-high of 40 percent, up from 35 percent in February. The ratio of those who said they would definitely vote if elections were held this Sunday dropped from 45% to 42%. Among all voters, Fidesz led the Socialists 33-14 percent, while Jobbik and LMP had 8 and 5 percent respectively, according to Medián.
The percentage of respondents saying the Orbán government was doing a good job fell from 44 percent to 40 percent in April. Full 61 percent said the country was heading in the wrong direction in April, up from 54 percent in February. Voters who thought things were going well made up 28 percent of the sample, down from 36 percent in February.
The popularity of most Fidesz politicians has also diminished; especially the prime minister’s and the president’s appeal eroded. Viktor Orbán still leads popularity ratings, but his rating was down from 53 to 45 points from February to April. Lajos Kósoa, mayor of Debrecen, lost 2 points and fell to 42. President Pál Schmitt finished fifth, losing nine points down to 40. LMP leader András Schiffer's popularity remained steady at 29 points. At the bottom of the list was Attila Mesterházy, leader of the Socialists, with 24 points, one higher than Jobbik leader Gábor Vona whose ratings rose by two points to 25 from February to April, the poll said.

Only 26% of the eligible voters in Hungary would vote for the governing Fidesz party if elections were held this Sunday, according to the latest poll by Szonda Ipsos. The Socialist Party’s (MSZP) popularity is enough for no more than 12% of the votes, it said on Wednesday. While the voter base for Fidesz eroded further (from a peak of 42% in May 2010), there is no change from last month in the support for far-right Jobbik (8%), but the green LMP party has become a tad more popular (4% vs. 3%). About half of the respondents keep their distance from politics, the April survey showed. Szonda Ipsos said only every third eligible voter has a firm party preference, which is the consequence of the high degree of uncertainties and passivity.

Supreme Court condemns Orbán’s government
We find it almost impossible that in the country that give the rotating presidency of the European Union, there has to be a fight for the minimum values of democracy 21 years after the change.
We would never have thought that our country must stand up against those who have taken part in breaking down dictatorship and have contributed to the development of a democratic state, and now we find ourselves having to protect the values of democracy and the rule of law against them as have done the presidents of the Supreme Court, courts of appeal and the county courts after their meeting on Thursday.
The leaders of the Hungarian judiciary voiced their frustration and considered the decision of the leading party to amend the constitution regulating the retirement age of judges as irresponsible, unfounded and professionally unthoughtful.
"The proposal that applies to judges only is considered discriminatory and contrary to fundamental principles and international regulations regarding the independence of judges, their legal and irremovable status” – stated the leaders of the judiciary in their position paper.
Under the proposed amendment, the retirement age will be decreased by eight years starting with January 1st 2012; as a consequence the jobs of 228 judges aged sixty-two or more –121 of them are administrative and professional leaders in public administration – will cease to exit without any transition.
Further 46 judges will end their careers by December 31st 2012. According to the judicial leaders, this decision will lead to a serious impediment in the work of the court's operations.
Including the retirement scheme of the judges into the constitution seems incomprehensive. The only possible answer could be that it makes it impossible to be attacked before the Constutional Court.
"This unjustified decision hints to a political intent" – they say. Their assumption seems to be confirmed by the fact that the constitution also nullifies judicial self-governance (the National Judicial Council is not included), even though Fidesz-KDNP stood up for its renewal last December.
The judges can only protest by turning to the public as they see no possibility in turning to the European Commission or the EU Courts.
The document called "To the public of the country and the European Union" was signed by Mr. Baka – who served in Strasbourg earlier –, the leaders of 5 courts of appeal and 14 leaders of county courts and capital courts (except for those from Bács, Békés, Pest and Vas counties).

Hungary’s budget shortfall will peak at the end of the first half, reaching 176% of the full-year goal
Hungary’s budget deficit grew by HUF 182 billion in March to HUF 742.1 billion (on a cash flow basis, excluding local governments), reaching 108% of the full-year target already by the end of the first quarter, the Economy Ministry confirmed its preliminary figures on Tuesday. It also said, however, that there is no reason for concern, because one-off items will get the budget back on track in the second half of the year. According to the prognoses, Hungary’s budget shortfall will peak at the end of the first half, reaching 176% of the full-year goal. But there is nothing to worry about, the ministry said, because the massive surpluses in H2 will take the gap down to the target (HUF -687 bn). Portfolio

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 09:11