BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungary’s united opposition retained a three-point lead ahead of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s nationalist Fidesz party in a December survey by the liberal think tank Republikon published on Monday.
For the first time since taking power in a 2010 landslide win, the 58-year-old Orban will face a united front of opposition parties on the ballot, likely to be held in April, that includes the Democratic Coalition, the Socialists, liberals and the formerly far-right, and now centre-right, Jobbik.
The Republikon survey, published on the telex.hu news website, put support for the six united opposition parties at 36% of all voters, while Orban’s Fidesz scored 33%. One in four people were undecided.
It said the results were broadly in line with another survey taken at the start of the year, suggesting that the opposition was still struggling to gain traction with more voters after a short-lived bounce following outsider Peter Marki-Zay’s primary election victory in October.
Hungarian inflation surged to a 14-year-high last month, forcing the central bank to raise interest rates substantially higher than previously expected.
Orban announced a cap on fuel prices last month to shield consumers from further sharp price rises, while targeting key voting groups, such as career starters, families and pensioners with big tax breaks and higher payouts ahead of the poll.
DATE AGENCY FIDESZ OPPOSITION UNDECIDED
Dec 9-14 Republikon 33 36 24
Nov 2-12 Zavecz 37 41 14
Nov 2-3 Nezopont 56 42 2
Oct 25-29 Republikon 32 38 30
Oct 11-19 Zavecz 35 39 23
Sept 29-Oct 4 Median 37 37 17
Oct Szazadveg 50 44 6
Sept Zavecz 37 38 23
Sept 20-21 Nezopont 53 45 N/A
Aug 23-25 Nezopont 52 46 N/A
(Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; Editing by Angus MacSwan)