While the European Parliamentary elections will not take place until an as yet undetermined date in May of 2024, we already have some polling data thanks to Nézőpont Intézet. The Budapest-based research institute asked voters about their voting preferences in next year’s EP elections. More than half of them responded that they would take part if they were held this week. Of those respondents, 56 per cent said they would cast their ballots for the governing Fidesz party’s list of candidates.
56 per cent of the popular vote would be a better performance for Fidesz than how they did in 2019, when they won with 52.6 per cent. They currently have a large, 42-point lead over the Democratic Coalition (DK) placed second with 14 per cent, a potential drop from the 16 per cent they achieved in 2019. Momentum and the Our Homeland Movement (Mi Hazánk) are tied in third place with a six per cent support each.
The large number of small opposition parties that are currently polling under five per cent actually works in favour of Fidesz. According to Nézőpont’s calculations, after allocating the seats of the parties not reaching the five per cent threshold, the governing party could end up with 16 seats out of Hungary’s 21 in the European Parliament. Not only is that more than the 13 seats they obtained last time, but it is also more than three quarters of Hungary’s EP seats. However, as Nézőpont points out, this outcome can change if the opposition parties above the threshold are efficient in siphoning voters away from the smaller parties.
Some of critical-of-the-government analysts believe that Nézőpont is trying to paint a more favourable picture than the reality of the current approval of Fidesz with this new poll. However, it is worthwhile to note that Nézőpont, along with all other polling firms, actually underestimated Fidesz’s performance in its surveys conducted before the 2022 Hungarian parliamentary election—and by a large margin. The closest Nézőpont poll to election day was a survey conducted on 23–25 March 2022, which predicted a Fidesz lead of 5.2 points ahead of the united opposition. On 3 April, Fidesz ended up winning the popular vote by 19.6 per cent.