Poll: Botka edges out Gyurcsány in popularity for prime minister, but Orbán remains on top

January 27, 2017

A recent survey by pollster Nézőpont shows that while a decisive plurality of Hungarian adults would support Prime Minister Viktor Orbán as the next prime minister from the 2018 national election, nearly just as many are undecided. However, Orbán’s support exceeds that of all other opposition candidates combined.

Nézőpont Intézet

Of the confirmed prime ministerial candidates, Orbán would have the support of 37 percent of the adult population, compared with Gábor Vona (Jobbik) at 8 percent, László Botka (Hungarian Socialist Party/MSZP) 7 percent, Ferenc Gyurcsány (Democratic Coalition/DK) 5 percent, Bernadett Szél (Politics Can Be Different/LMP) 3 percent, and Gábor Fodor (Liberals) at 2 percent.

The poll shows that Szeged mayor László Botka, recently confirmed as the Socialist candidate for prime minister, has edged out longtime opposition favorite, former Socialist prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány. Botka’s 2-point lead over Gyurcsány brings him neck and neck with extreme-right Jobbik party chairman Gábor Vona.

Preference for Botka over Gyurcsány is reflected not only in the adult population at large, but also among supporters of left-wing opposition parties: Botka has support of 43 percent of left-wing party sympathizers (MSZP, DK, PM, Együtt and Liberals) compared to Gyurcsány with 40 percent. Among those with no party affiliation, Botka has 10 percent support compared to Gyurcsány’s 4 percent.

Nézőpont Intézet

While Botka is popular across party lines, his efforts to unify the opposition under a single candidate and on single voting lists have been unsuccessful. Other parties, such as Együtt and DK, are still planning to run their own prime ministerial candidates and run on their own party lists in Hungary’s 106 constituencies.

The representative telephone poll was conducted between January 20-23, 2017 based on questions posed to 1,000 respondents. Maximum margin of error is 3.2 percent, according to Nézőpont’s website.