After the low point in April, Fidesz-KDNP has slightly strengthened

Monthly party preference April 2024


After the low point in April, Fidesz-KDNP has slightly strengthened

Republikon Intézet

"After the amnesty case and Péter Magyar's burst into the scene, Fidesz-KDNP's support was at a low point not seen for years at the end of March. A couple of weeks later, they achieved an increase within the margin of error: among the total population, the government party's voter base increased by 2 percentage points (27%), and among party voters by 1 percentage point (35%)." - Telex reported on the latest party preference survey by the Republikon Institute.

Key findings of the research: 

The 2024 European and municipal election campaign has officially begun. The Fidesz-KDNP has perhaps had its most difficult period since 2010, while the opposition parties are facing a new challenge on the uneven playing field, with Péter Magyar and his party bursting into public life. Parties and outlining political blocks are trying to attract voters, sparing no resources or confrontation, but this campaign is characterised by a high degree of voter movement due to the changing party system.

After the low point in April, Fidesz-KDNP has slightly strengthened, by 2 percentage points among the total population and 1 percentage point among party voters, with 27 and 35 percent of the population likely to vote for the governing parties. Fidesz-KDNP had room for improvement, since the end of 2022 a significant part of its voters have dropped out. It is expected to be able to strengthen by June with the start of the campaign and the impact of the hundreds of millions spent, but it is quite far from the popularity levels of 2022 or even 2019.

The DK-MSZP-Párbeszéd parties are running together, so we have been measuring their support together since April. While in March the combined support of the three parties was 17 and 22 percent among the total population and party voters, in April they achieved 19 and 22 percent with their joint list. The collaboration of the left-wing block was a well-timed move, as the appearance of Péter Magyar and the agreement of the three left-wing parties led to the formation of three major political blocks: the governing parties, the Left Alliance and the "third way" block, led by the TISZA party. The left alliance may be able to attract opposition voters suspicious and distrustful of Magyar and have a secure place in the European elections, so it is conceivable that a significant proportion of opposition voters will gravitate towards the DK-MSZP-Párbeszéd joint list. At the same time, the voter base of this formation is the most volatile, with some polls showing left-wing coalition below 20 percent, so the surplus from this coalition could evaporate in the next month. This block has been stagnant in terms of support for a long time, while Magyar's camp is expanding rapidly, so the position of DK-MSZP-Párbeszéd as the second largest political force is far from fixed.

Péter Magyar's TISZA party continued to grow in April, gaining 3 percentage points in the total population and 2 percentage points among party voters, and currently 14 percent of the total population and 18 percent of party voters would vote for the party. Magyar, who broke with the NER system, has gained a lot of support in the last few months. Although the DK-MSZP-Párbeszéd coalition is not being pushed by TISZA, its growth potential is greater than that of the three-party alliance, so it is not out of the question that it could catch up by 9 June and challenge for second place behind Fidesz-KDNP.

Momentum and the Kutyapárt also gained within the margin of error, by 1-1 percentage points among the total population and party voters. Currently, between 4 and 5 percent would vote for Momentum and between 5 and 6 percent for the Dog Party, i.e. they are hovering around the parliamentary threshold. March was a difficult month for the two "third way" parties, after a long period of stagnation and prospering, their support took a serious hit, especially for Momentum, which went from a confident lead to below the parliamentary threshold. After the initial shock, support for the two parties has stopped falling and may increase as the campaign gets underway, allowing them to contest a seat in the European Parliament if they can stabilise their voter base in the time remaining.

The support for Our Homeland has decreased by 1-1 percentage points, currently 5 percent of the total population and 6 percent of party voters would vote for the party. This puts them head-to-head with the MKKP, and they would currently be in parliament, but that is still a long way off. Péter Magyar has also been able to attract voters from Our Homeland, but as a far-right party, Péter Magyar's more moderate political offer is not an alternative for core voters.

Jobbik has 2-2% support among the general population and party voters and would not get into the European Parliament. The Socialists and Democrats, the Nép Pártján and the Második Reformkor have 1-1% support and would not get into the EP. Mindenki Magyarországa Néppárt is below half a percent support.

The turnout and undecided rates are also interesting. 73% of respondents say they are definitely going to vote, and 12% say they are likely to vote. This is a total of 85 percent of respondents, which is just about the same as the turnout measured before the 2022 general election. In 2022, turnout was finally 70%. Voter turnout is usually around 50% in municipal and European elections, but based on the current data we can expect more voters on 9 June this year, although the turnout will still be lower than in the parliamentary elections. The share of undecided voters fell further in April, from 24% to 19%. This is already close to the last poll before the 2022 election, when the undecided rate was 16 percent. It is clear that voters are finding it easier to adjust to a clearer party palette.

With the election approaching and considering the high turnout, we have decided to include data on active party voters. If we filter for turnout, we observe minor changes in the distribution of votes. Fidesz-KDNP is the more popular party among active party voters, with 37% voting for the party. The left-wing coalition also benefits from filtering out the more inactive voters, with the DK-MSZP-Párbeszéd list reaching 24% of the active party voters. Apart from this, there is little change, with the TISZA party having 1% less support among the active party voters than among the party voters, with 17% voting for the party. This also shows that Péter Magyar was able to appeal to the more politically inactive, undecided layer, who are not yet committed to voting. The three threshold parties, Kutyapárt, Momentum and Our Homeland, also stand at 5-5-5 percent among the certain voters, Jobbik remains unchanged at 2 percent and LMP at just 1 percent. LMP's popularity has been eroded in recent months, from being above the parliamentary threshold to around 1 percent, partly because of the new political situation and partly because of its strategy of shutting itself off from the opposition.

With just over a month to go before the double elections, the balance of power between the parties is constantly changing, and there is a high degree of fluctuation in the polls due to the instability of the new political situation. Nevertheless, it seems that there are three political blocks with a strong gravitational pull, three centre parties fighting for the parliamentary threshold, and some smaller formations of around 1%, whose candidacy is still dependent on the gathering of signatures and whose parliamentary threshold is still out of reach. There are a few exciting questions in the run-up to 9 June, one of which is whether the three parties (Momentum, MKKP, Our Homeland) with around 5% of the vote will get into the European Parliament. All three formations have a good chance of doing so if they can get their voters to the polls. The fate of 3-4 Hungarian European Parliament seats depends on it. The second question is whether Péter Magyar's TISZA party can catch up with the DK-MSZP-Momentum coalition list, and possibly overtake it. This would fundamentally shake up the Hungarian party system that has existed for years, especially if the two political blocks together win more votes than Fidesz-KDNP, or if the TISZA party does significantly better than the left-wing alliance. The third related question is how many of the voters Fidesz-KDNP, which has been struggling with internal and external crises for a year and a half, can win back in the last month of the campaign. A result below 40 percent would be a huge failure for the governing parties.

In the municipal elections, Fidesz is expected to continue to dominate in smaller municipalities, while the opposition has a chance to do well in larger municipalities and especially in the capital, but conflicts within the opposition threaten the opposition's position in several municipalities. The most striking example of this is the elections for mayor and assembly in the capital's districts. For the time being, Gergely Karácsony is the favourite for the Budapest mayor's seat, but his majority in the Budapest assembly is not guaranteed, and the Kutyapárt could easily influence the balance in the capital. This could be further complicated if Péter Magyar runs a Budapest list.

Methodology: the survey was conducted by telephone interviews with 1000 respondents between 22-26 April 2024. The survey is representative of the adult population of the country by gender, age, education and type of settlement. 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.