According to Hungarians asked, Hungary has largely good relations with the neighboring countries – a public opinion survey conducted by Nézőpont Intézet for the Charta XXI Reconciliation Movement reveals. Respondents consider relations with Austria, Slovenia and Croatia best, more than half the Hungarian adult population think that the State of Hungary has positive relations with these countries. Nearly half of Hungarians (48 percent) consider Hungarian-Slovakian relations to be just fine, which is probably influenced by good relations developed with Slovakia over the past years.


Just as the partnership between Viktor Orbán and his Slovakian colleague Robert Fico has a doubtless influence on the positive assessment of Hungarian-Slovakian relations, the often confrontative rhetoric of the previous Ponta government likely affected Hungarian-Romanian relations, the assessment of which divided respondents. While more respondents have a positive than a negative image of bilateral relations with Ukraine and Serbia, Hungarians are more divided in the assessment of Hungarian-Romanian relations. The majority (52 percent) nonetheless would be happy to improve Hungarian-Romanian relations.

About the Charta XXI Reconciliation Movement

Taking the historic German-French atonement as its basis, the movement sees reconciliation as the guarantee for Hungary’s success. According to its manifesto, cooperation between citizens is necessary for the peoples of Central Europe not to look at each other with distrust. The movement’s chief objective is the formation of rock-solid bonds between “human and human”. (


A public opinion telephone poll by Nézőpont Intézet completed during January 4-7, 2016 by asking 1000 people. The sample is representative, pertaining to a cross-sample of the population 18 years and older, classified by gender, age, region, settlement type and schooling. Samples using 1000 respondents has a maximum margin of error of 3.2 percent.

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It was possible to pursue a productive dialogue even as a Western ally

It was possible for Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to pursue a productive dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin even as a Western ally. Based on this pragmatic summit meeting, it was reconfirmed that the Hungarian Prime Minister is not attempting to pursue shuttlecock diplomacy as a member of the Western alliance, but instead, he is following the principles of realpolitik without ignoring the values and interests of NATO and the EU.

The expiration of the long-term natural gas contract, Hungarian and regional energy security, as well as the necessity to foster economic relations in the midst of a tense global political backdrop have not permitted the Hungarian government to defer this summit any longer. Despite any opposite impression, Hungarian foreign policy cannot be regarded as maverick in its nature. The Prime Minister has reiterated his committment to the Western alliance by unequivocally accepting the cease fire signed in Minsk last week in order to to stabilize the Ukrainian situation, despite the special concerns we have with respect to the subcarpathian Hungarian community and our unilateral energy dependency on Russia. Viktor Orbán, similarly to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande, surmised that in order to sustain long-term peace and stability, one can achieve these goals strictly by maintaining a dialogue with President Putin.

As a result of this summit, the Hungarian Prime Minister can in no way be accused of “one-side Russian favoritism”, since Viktor Orbán also paid a visit to Kiev on Friday and Serbia on Monday. On the domestic scene, the opposition can hardly conjecture a political scandal with any credibility out of this visit, since the summit was preceded by a unique conciliation and information exchange between parliamentary faction leaders and the Prime Minister during the weekend, briefing all participants, compared to which the summit has not brought any major change of direction.

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Fidesz-KDNP would gain nearly two-thirds of the mandates

According to the mandate estimation by Nézőpont Intézet – based on the latest opinion poll results – Fidesz-KDNP representatives would gain nearly two-thirds of the mandates. Fidesz-KDNP would secure strong and stable majority in Parliament despite the fact that its support among the total population has decreased since last Fall.

Nézőpont Intézet set up a model – based on the latest potential party preferences – as to how many mandates various parties could count on if parliamentary elections were held this Sunday. In our latest representative public opinion poll that was conducted by asking 1,000 people between January 24-26, 2015, Fidesz-KDNP had 40 percent potential support, MSZP had 12 percent, DK had 6, Együtt had 4, LMP had 8, while Jobbik had 27-percent.

To construct an estimate of mandates based on these results, Fidesz-KDNP would obtain 123 mandates (nearly two-thirds of all parliamentary mandates), which would continue to secure a stable majority for the government alliance. Fidesz-KDNP would secure a strong and stable majority in Parliament despite the fact that its support among the total population has decreased since last Fall. Based on our estimation, Jobbik would obtain 39 seats, the MSZP, DK, and Együtt alliance would secure 29 seats combined, while LMP would receive 9 mandates.



Mandate estimation of Nézőpont Intézet meriting from previous election results provides an estimation using potential party preferences as a departure point in attempting to gauge the number of likely mandates that each party would secure if parliamentary elections were held this Sunday. When engineering this model, the results of the 2010 and 2014 parliamentary elections are considered at the level of individual districts (the results of the 2014 elections counting more, with a 70-percent weighing factor). The essence of the model (as well as its streamlined nature) lies in a method that the deviation of individual district results from party list election scores is considered to be a constant. When calculating the size of the deviation, we have applied a mixed method, which uses both additive and multiplicative elements. Based on current nationwide potential party preference scores, we provide an estimate as to what results may accrue in each election district, with the help of which individual mandates can be allocated between the parties. Nationwide mandates tied to lists (including fragmentary votes) are calculated based on rules determined by the election law. We are considering a combined campaign by left-wing parties (MSZP, DK, Együtt, PM) in our model. When considering mandates that are tied to party lists, we are including votes from abroad, using the 2014 elections as a constant factor (which means one additional mandate for the Fidesz-KDNP list).

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Four Recurrent Themes in the Interpretation of Municipal Election Results


On this occasion, our analysis examines four “recurrent themes” related to interpreting the results of municipal elections: the degree of the governing party’s victory, the situation of Jobbik, how parties’ support developed in the countryside, and the way LMP fared.

Fidesz-KDNP is the absolute winner of the municipal elections. In terms of proportions, this nationwide governing party success is most apparent at county level, i.e. based on county list votes cast directly in villages and towns without county rank. The holding together and successful mobilisation of the governing party’s core supporters is indicated by the fact that regarding proportions, the party alliance achieved a better percentage result in every county, in villages and towns without county rank than during parliamentary elections last spring, considering an identical base and reckoning with parliamentary list votes. Expectations were also eclipsed by Fidesz-KDNP ultimately winning absolute majorities in every county assembly, meaning that it will be able to pass decisions without any local coalition bargaining. Taking the 20 mandates it did in the Budapest Assembly also exceed preliminary forecasts.

In contrast, Jobbik could hardly be considered a winner in the elections or a true “contender” for the governing side. The party continues to remain weak in Budapest, the stage of national politics. At county level, i.e. considering the votes cast in villages and towns without county rank, it can indeed seemingly claim to be the second largest political force in the competition of parties, there is, however, a downside to this impression: the party would not have secured the runner-up position in the party contest everywhere on this basis as it did were we to add up votes cast on left-wing political forces. Additionally, Jobbik failed to compete with the ruling parties yet again, still opting to go up against the left, and it clearly profited from the weakness of the left-wing. Jobbik’s nationwide performance in relation to the left-wing is further overshadowed if one looks at the proportions of county votes and reckons with list votes cast in villages and towns without county rank, as the party achieved a worse percentage result in eighteen counties than in the parliamentary elections this April, on an identical basis. In other words, Jobbik has lost ground almost everywhere in terms of proportions at the said level compared to the spring.

Municipal elections may also impact the fight for dominance in the left-wing. It is clear that MSZP is twice as strong as DK at the level of villages and towns without county rank, the socialist party has thus stabilised its leading position in the left-wing at countryside level, while Együtt-PM practically does not exist outside Budapest. The newly established left-wing parties were unable to reach a breakthrough against the socialists in the countryside, and have no substantive basis in smaller settlements.

LMP’s results were also examined in connection with the municipal elections. LMP outdid the Együtt-PM alliance by more than 6 thousand county list votes despite the fact that it set up county lists in half as many counties (in just 5 counties, in contrast to the Együtt-PM’s 11 county lists). This also shows that the main loser in the municipal election was not LMP, but Együtt-PM, just like we forecast.

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Good Governance Index (2013)

Executive Summary

The Good Governance Index, devised by Nézőpont Intézet, examines the governmental performance of V4 countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) in the year 2013 along a total of twenty-four headings, organised into three question periods (political stability, social relations and economic perspective), each of which contain eight questions. Commissioned experts representing Visegrád Group countries analysed the year 2013 with respect to their countries’ governmental performance on the basis of objective rankings and practical issues.

Good Governance Index values are produced by the average of countries’ results gained in each question period as a percentage of the maximum score. Based on the results drawn, it can be claimed that the entire Visegrád region holds favourable positions within the European Union, and countries’ individual performances also give cause for optimism. The Visegrád region could emerge to the forefront of the European Union in the upcoming years, provided that the various countries succeed in stabilising their political, social and economic situations.

At present, Hungary holds the most stable position within the region, followed in a close race between Poland and Slovakia. The Czech governance performance fell short of that of the other countries due to its weaker political stability.

Hungary achieved the best result in the field of political stability. This area has also of key importance with regard to the entire emerging Visegrád region because stable governance enables predictability in social matters and sustainable economic policies. Moreover, political stability is also an important consideration for foreign investors too. However, further progress will be necessary in countries belonging to the region with respect to other factors with an influence on the stability of the political system, such as the efficiency of the system of government, the quality of legislation or the fight against corruption.

In the field of the social situation, Hungary also finished in first place, although the results for Poland and Slovakia are also favourable. Hungary’s performance in the area was enhanced by high scores for questions addressing objective figures, such as the trend of broadening employment and the increase of real wages. Immediate attention to areas of social policy carrying high levels of risks is of key importance with regard to the region as a whole. Negative demographic tendencies and problems endured by families and the future generation, such as the labour market situation and home-making, require coordinated and substantial solutions.

With regard to economic perspectives, Poland takes the lead, although the performance of the other three countries is also promising in the light of results for the year 2013. The position of the Visegrád region as regards economic policy and room for manoeuvre has been and continues to be determined chiefly by development. The main direction of this is the integration into knowledge-based society, job creation and economic strategy aimed at establishing a sustainable pattern of growth. Within the European Union, the Visegrád region is a highly dynamic area also in terms of the economy, which can be explained by several factors, including ascent from a lower base level and the enhancement of the region’s geopolitical role. However, the future must see every country conscientiously concentrating on their so-far largely consistent budgetary policy, successful monetary policy and a growth-centred development agenda. These three factors are of prime importance with regard to the establishment of the sustainable pattern of economic growth currently already under formulation.

You can download the full study in English here.