Hungary govt party ahead despite widespread pessimism

Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:50am EST
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BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Three quarters of Hungarians believe their country is on the wrong track, an opinion poll said on Tuesday, highlighting widespread pessimism about how the government is coping with the debt pile and shrinking economy.

But it said student rallies in the capital Budapest against planned cuts in state funding to universities last month or a 10 percent cut in electricity and gas prices for households had had no impact on public support for the mainstream parties.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban's ruling Fidesz party scored 19 percent among all voters, keeping a 3 point lead ahead of the Socialists, who had 16 percent support, both unchanged from the previous two months, the survey by pollster Ipsos, published by news agency MTI, said.

The poll said 53 percent of those asked wanted a change of government at the next election, but nearly half of this group found no party it could support in the opposition camp. More than half of 8 million voters had no party preference.

Two-thirds of Fidesz supporters believed the country was in a good shape but overall, 63 percent of people were unhappy about the government's track record.

In all, 47 percent of those asked gave the thumbs down to both the government and the opposition, the survey said.

Support for far-right Jobbik, the second-largest opposition party in parliament, was also unchanged at 6 percent, the survey said.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai's Egyutt (Together) 2014 movement, which wants to oust Orban from power at the next election in 2014, scored 4 percent in January, below the 6 percent it mustered in December, the poll showed.

All voters (figures in percentages of those polled):   Continued...

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban arrives at the EU council headquarters for an European Union leaders summit discussing the European Union's long-term budget in Brussels November 22, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Vidal