Orban's Fidesz extends lead over Hungary opposition to two percentage points - poll

2 minute read

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivers a speech during the Fidesz party congress in Budapest, Hungary, November 14, 2021. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo/File Photo

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

BUDAPEST, March 23 (Reuters) - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's ruling Fidesz party extended its lead to two percentage points over an opposition alliance in a mid-March survey ahead of the April 3 election.

The poll, conducted by Republikon between March 16 and 18, put support for nationalist Orban's Fidesz at 41% of the electorate, up one point from February levels, while the opposition was unchanged at 39%.

Orban's path to re-election is complicated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has put his decade-long close relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a new light.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Hungary will not send any weapons to Ukraine and will stay out of the war, Orban told a rally of his supporters last week.

Weeks after the Feb. 24 invasion, the poll showed 57% of respondents thought EU-member Hungary's allies were in the West rather than in the East.

Orban faces a united, six-party opposition front for the first time since taking office in a 2010 election landslide.

The opposition alliance includes the Democratic Coalition, the Socialists, liberals and the formerly far-right, now centre-right, Jobbik. Its candidate for prime minister is Peter Marki-Zay, an independent who is currently mayor of Hodmezovasarhely, a town in southern Hungary.

The ranks of the undecided were flat at 16%, according to Republikon. Among decided voters, Fidesz had 49% support, while the opposition alliance scored 46%.

Republikon said the outcome of the vote would depend on which side can mobilise its voters in the run-up to the election and which side can better appeal to the undecided. Republikon said 67% of the electorate said they would definitely vote.

Republikon also surveyed attitudes to the introduction of the euro to replace the forint - a key plank in the opposition's campaign - and said 46% of respondents were in support, while 31% thought it was unnecessary. Most Fidesz voters do not want the euro, while 79% of opposition voters would adopt the common currency.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Nick Macfie

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.