There is a significant decrease in Fidesz-KDNP popularity in February

Monthly party preference February 2024


There is a significant decrease in Fidesz-KDNP popularity in February

Republikon Intézet

"The scandal of the pardon has damaged the popularity of Fidesz-KDNP even more than expected, more than 325,000 voters leaving Orbán's party in a month. The opposition, however, could not benefit from this crisis either, only Momentum gained minimally compared to the January survey" - Telex reported on the latest party preference survey by the Republican Institute.


Key findings of the research: 

In February, the popularity of the Fidesz-KDNP dropped significantly due to the pardon scandal. Although the party's support among the total population fell by only 2 percentage points, from 28 to 26 percent, among party voters they lost 6 percentage points, from 43 to 37 percent. This is more than 2 years negative peak.

The opposition was unable to benefit from Fidesz-KDNP's decline, with most opposition parties seeing little or no increase in support. Overall, changes within the opposition camp can be measured within the margin of error.

DK's support among the total population remained unchanged at 12%, while among party voters it fell by two percentage points, from 19% to 17%. The DK's strong communication in the pardon scandal did not increase the party's popularity as it decreased Fidesz-KDNP’s.

Only Momentum was able to benefit from the situation, gaining a small 1 percentage point among the total population and 2 percentage points among party voters.

Mi Hazánk remains unchanged with 6 and 9 percent support.

The MKKP gained 1 percentage point among the total population, reached 6 per cent, while its support among party voters remained unchanged at 8 per cent. The MKKP was eager to distance itself from the pardon scandal, and with a steady result of around 8 per cent it has a good chance of dispelling the myth of the lost vote, and the EP elections could be a breakthrough for the party.

The MSZP is unchanged at 3 and 5 percent and would currently get into the European Parliament.

LMP's popularity has risen from 2 to 3 per cent among the total population but remains at 4 per cent among party voters and would currently just miss entering parliament. Jobbik's support among both the total population and party voters has increased by a margin of 1-1 percentage points to 3 and 4 per cent, its support is the same as LMP’s. It would not enter parliament. Párbeszéd currently has 2 and 3 percent, with no change in support since January.

As we approach June, we want our research to reflect the real electoral situation, so for the first time in February, we include in our research the new parties that have announced their candidacy for the 2024 EP elections. These parties will now be included in all our monthly surveys.

In our first survey, Gábor Vona's Second Reform Era and Péter Márki-Zay's All-Hungarian People's Party had 0% support.

However, Attila Mesterházy's Party of Socialists and Democrats and Péter Jakab's People's Party of Hungary were able to get 1 and 1 per cent popularity among the total population and among party voters.

The share of those who were uncertain fell from 34 per cent to 29 per cent. The pardon scandal seems to have mobilised previously passive voters, and some of the uncertain have also found their place in the new parties.

The expansion of the party list contributed to the 6-percentage point drop in Fidesz-KDNP voters.

The latest figures explain Viktor Orbán's sombre annual assessment speech, clearly showing the negative impact of the pardon scandal on the popularity of the governing parties. Nevertheless, Fidesz-KDNP is still the most popular party, but if it fails to regenerate before the EP elections in June, it could lose serious EP seats and move further away from conquering the Budapest Assembly, Mi Hazánk or not.

Moreover, the historic fall of Fidesz-KDNP has not in itself made the opposition parties more attractive to voters, and apart from Momentum, we cannot talk about opposition growth in February. After the influencer protest, the joint opposition rally also fell short of expectations.

There are still three months to go before the double elections, long enough to get the scandal off the agenda. The Fidesz-KDNP is currently concentrating on putting out the fire but is likely to launch a full counterattack soon. The pillar supporting the world view of the Fidesz-KDNP voters has been shaken, and the Fidesz-KDNP will try not only to deflect the paedophile allegations but also to turn them back against the opposition or the current enemy image. The most convenient way to do this is to sneak elements into his recently announced "anti-pedophile" bill that will make it unacceptable to the opposition (minus Mi Hazánk), be it an extremely homophobic or even anti-democratic passage. Then the opposition will once again be portrayed by the government media as pro-pedophile, which could be used to mobilise Fidesz voters.

Meanwhile, the opposition's negotiations over the nomination of candidates will continue, from which the events of the past month have fortunately distracted the media. The fate of many seats hangs on these agreements, or the lack of them. While they play an important role in the outcome of the election, they do not help the parties to get positive press coverage and will consume many of the resources that Fidesz-KDNP will use to rebuild after the pardon scandal.

Methodology: The survey was conducted by telephone among 1000 people between 21-28 February.  The survey is representative of the country's adult population by gender, age, education and type of municipality. Margin of error: +/- 3.2%.

The research presentation is available HERE!

 Eu Co Funded En

Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.