Hungary ruling party loses support amid voter apathy

BUDAPEST Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:46am EDT

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivers a speech during the presentation of an arts project in Vienna, June 12, 2012. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivers a speech during the presentation of an arts project in Vienna, June 12, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader

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BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Support for Hungary's ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrat alliance has slipped further in July and, in a sign of disillusionment with politics, just one in three people would bother voting if an election was held now, a poll showed.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban's center-right alliance, which commands more than two-thirds of seats in parliament, is backed by just 16 percent of voters - still the most popular party but one point below its June showing, the Ipsos poll found.

The biggest opposition party, the Socialists, has 14 percent support, also down one point from an Ipsos poll last month.

In a country heading into another downturn this year after a deep recession in 2009, more than half of voters - 51 per cent - have no party preference, up from 49 percent in June.

And only 34 percent said they would vote if parliamentary elections were held now, down from 40 percent last month. Hungary is due to hold elections in 2014.

Orban's government is seeking a financing backstop from the IMF and European Union to cut the country's high borrowing costs and shield its economy from a deepening euro zone debt crisis.

Among those voters who have a clear party preference, Fidesz support stands at 33 percent, with the Socialists on 30 percent and far-right party Jobbik on 22 percent.

The nationwide poll of 1,500 people, conducted on July 11-18, was published over the weekend by news agency MTI. (Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Pravin Char)

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