Domestic Politics

Elections 2018: Survey Shows that Increased Opposition Cooperation May Lead to Bigger Fidesz Wins

‘The Country for All Movement’ (KOM),  an organization hoping to coordinate the activities of Hungary’s opposition parties, recently examined the voters of a constituency in Buda, and concluded: fewer opposition candidates would mean a proportionally larger win for Mihály Varga, the local Fidesz candidate.

The Country for All Movement undertook a public opinion poll in Budapest’s 4th individual parliamentary district. The constituency includes parts of District II and District III. The seat is being contested by Minister for National Economy and Fidesz candidate Mihály Varga, DK candidate Péter Niedermüller, LMP candidate Péter Ungár, Momentum Movement candidate Benedek Márton and Jobbik candidate Tamás Kovács, are running.

The research survey was undertaken by KOM between February 2, 2018 and February 18, 2018 – in other words, before the interim elections in Hódmezővásárhely (in which Fidesz suffered a major, and surprising, electoral upset). In the survey, 1000 randomly-selected persons were interviewed in their homes. The Country for All Movement entrusted the Závecz Research Institute with the fieldwork. Data published in this bulletin was based on the 2011 census and the 2014 parliamentary elections, and was weighted according to constituency-level factors, so that the resulting sample would accurately reflect the adult population of the constituency in terms of sex, age, educational level and vote in the 2014 election.

The main question of the research was to determine which opposition candidate would be Fidesz’s most effective prospective challenger in the given individual district.

The researchers reported: Mihály Varga received support of around 36% (of all the participants), indicating a significant advantage; taking into account the latent opinions and indirect estimates shows additional reserves in his favor, though admittedly less than the total of the opposition candidates’ combined.

On the opposition side, the DK candidate, Péter Niedermüller, would obtain slightly fewer votes than the MSZP-P and DK lists, but still very clearly leads Péter Ungar, whose support is just slightly higher than that of the  LMP list. Jobbik’s Tamás Kovács and Momentum’s Benedek Márton are still lagging behind them, even when estimates of the reserves of undefined or hidden voters are factored in.

The most important goal was to find out which opposition candidates would most likely become the best challenger of Fidesz through collecting opposition votes. From the results of the research, it can be ascertained that in practice, the fewer opposition candidates, the bigger the magnitude of Mihály Varga’s win.

While in the case of four opposition candidates, the Fidesz Minister-candidate would win with 48 percent, any other combination of three, two or even just one initial opposition contender would secure a higher proportional win for Varga.

In the case of one opposition candidate, the odds against DK’s Niedermüller are 61-39, against LMP’s Péter Ungár 65-35, 74-26 against Momentum’s Benedek, and in the case of Jobbik’s Tamás Kovács, the victory would be 80-20 percent for the Fidesz candidate in the Buda district – according to the research findings of the Country for All Movement.



Translated by Gergely Edward Nagy

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