New political group in Hungary grabs second place in polls

Thu Nov 8, 2012 7:12am EST

Related Topics

* New movement only founded last month
    * Aims to topple Orban govt in 2014 vote

    BUDAPEST, Nov 8 (Reuters) - A new movement in Hungary has
become the country's second most popular political force just
days after it was founded, an opinion poll showed on Thursday.
    The Median poll showed that the Egyutt 2014 association was
second only to the government in popularity in October.
    Former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai launched Egyutt at a
rally on Oct. 23 to try to unite fragmented opposition groups in
a push to replace conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban's
ruling Fidesz party at the next elections, due in 2014.
 
    Fidesz won a two-thirds majority in 2010 and opposition
parties have struggled to mount a credible challenge for years.
Bajnai had stayed out of the limelight since handing over the
reins to Orban and returned to politics only last month.
    The name Egyutt means "Together".
    In the Oct. 16-30 Median poll, Egyutt's support was put at
14 percent, making it the strongest opposition force ahead of
the Socialists who ran four of Hungary's eight post-communist
governments.
    The poll showed Fidesz leading with 22 percent, one
percentage point down month-on-month, and said the Socialists
had shed 4 percentage points since a September poll. It put
their support at 10 percent, level with the far-right Jobbik.
    The proportion of undecided voters, who have made up nearly
half the electorate for most of the past two years, dropped
sharply to 37 percent from 46 percent, the poll showed. 
    "There had been a huge vacuum and expectations before Egyutt
appeared," Median Managing Director Endre Hann told Reuters.
"Left-wing active voters with no party preference had been wide
open (for a new political force)."
    Egyutt also appears to have attracted less committed
supporters of the Socialists and to have profited from Bajnai's
own personal popularity ratings. The former premier is now rated
the second most popular politician behind President Janos Ader.
    Soft-spoken Bajnai has pledged to sweep away the belligerent
ruling style of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government at the
next elections and to tackle economic troubles such as high
unemployment.
    Hungary has been criticised by the European Commission for
unorthodox policies including introducing Europe's highest bank
tax. Talks with the EU and the International Monetary Fund about
a financial backstop have been dragging on for a year.       
    The government has partly blamed the economic woes on what
it said were misguided economic policies and a surge in state
and household debt, something that happened under the rule of
Bajnai and his Socialist predecessors.
 All voters (figures in percentages of those polled):       
 DATE      POLLSTER FIDESZ EGYUTT MSZP  LMP  JOBBIK  Undecided/  
                                                  will not vote
 Oct 26-30  Median    22     14    10    3     10       37
 Oct 10-17  Tarki     18    N/A    15    4     10       50
 Sept 14-18 Median    23    N/A    14    4      9       46     
 Oct        Ipsos     20    N/A    16    3      7       51
 Sept 12-18 Tarki     15    N/A    11    5      9       56
 Sept       Ipsos     19    N/A    15    2      8       52
 Aug 12-19  Ipsos     17    N/A    14    3      8       53
 July 12-17 Tarki     18    N/A    12    5     10       52
 July 11-18 Ipsos     16    N/A    14    4     10       51  
 June       Median    21    N/A    15    6     10       44  
 June       Tarki     18    N/A    14    5     11       48
 June 1-6   Ipsos     17    N/A    15    6      9       49 
 May 18-22  Median    22    N/A    16    5     11       43  
 May        Tarki     16    N/A    15    5     11       49 
 May        Ipsos     16    N/A    13    4      9       54  
 Apr. 11-18 Tarki     21    N/A    13    5      9       45     
 April 6-13 Ipsos     17    N/A    12    4     10       51   
 March      Median    26    N/A    16    6     12       38   
 March      Tarki     25    N/A    12    4     11       43   
 March 7-14 Ipsos     19    N/A    14    5      7       52   
 Feb        Tarki     20    N/A    13    3     11       47   
 Feb 10-14  Median    25    N/A    13    6     14       38     
 Feb        Ipsos     18    N/A    13    4      8       53    
 Jan        Tarki     18    N/A    11    4     11       50   
 Jan        Median    26    N/A    15    4     10       41   
 Jan        Ipsos     16    N/A    11    4      8       57   
 Dec        Tarki     19    N/A    12    4     10       51    
 Dec 5-12   Ipsos     18    N/A    11    3     10       54   
 Nov 11-15  Median    26    N/A    12    5     12       42      
 Nov 10-15  Tarki     23    N/A    10    3     11       48   
 Nov 7-14   Ipsos     19    N/A    12    4      9       54   
 Oct        Tarki     23    N/A    11    5     10       50    
 Oct        Median    31    N/A    17    5     11       33    
 Oct 10-17  Ipsos     20    N/A    11    3      9       55   
 Sept       Ipsos     22    N/A    13    5      7       52       
 Sept       Tarki     24    N/A    10    3     10       51    
 Sept       Median    31    N/A    12    6     12             
 Aug        Ipsos     24    N/A    13    3      7       49    
 Aug        Median    33    N/A    14    5     11       35    
 July       Median    35    N/A    16    4      9       33    
 July       Ipsos     22    N/A    14    4      8       50    
 July       Tarki     30    N/A    11    5      9       44    
 June       Median    33    N/A    15    5      8       36    
 June       Tarki     27    N/A    12    3      8       44    
 June       Ipsos     23    N/A    13    4      7       51    
 May        Tarki     26    N/A    14    4      9       44    
 May 2-9    Ipsos     24    N/A    12    3      7       53    
    --------                                              
 March 2010 Ipsos     38    N/A    12    3      8       36    
 March 2010 Tarki     42    N/A    13    5      8       30    
 March 2010 Median    41    N/A    15    1     11       29    
  NOTES - The last election was held on April 11 and 25, 2010. 
  FIDESZ: Fidesz-Christian Democrat Alliance 
  MSZP: Hungarian Socialist Party 
  Jobbik: Movement for a Better Hungary 
  LMP: Politics Can Be Different
  

 (Reporting by Sandor Peto; Editing by Andrew Osborn)
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