53 percent of Hungarian adult society consider it unacceptable if in the surrounding countries Hungarian politicians lend their support to others than the representatives or parties of Hungarian minorities living there. Thus, Momentum leaders followed the wrong strategy, and their only hope is that most Hungarians haven’t heard about the case. On behalf of daily newspaper Magyar Nemzet, Nézőpont Intézet has conducted a representative public opinion poll on favouring Romanian and Slovak politicians as opposed to Hungarians living abroad.
The fact that Momentum Chairman András Fekete-Győr and MEP Anna Donáth campaigned to support their international ally rather than the Hungarian candidates from Transylvania and Slovakia, has stirred up a great deal of publicity. Their strategy has placed them in opposition to most Hungarians. To the question, whether it is acceptable for politicians in Hungary “not to support Hungarian politicians or parties living abroad”, 53 percent of all respondents answered “no” and only 34 percent answered “yes”. Interestingly, 50 percent of those who identify as Momentum sympathisers also find denying support from Hungarian politicians abroad to be unacceptable, and only 42 percent have said that it was acceptable.
The two Momentum leaders, therefore, have made a serious political mistake when they subordinated the protection of national interests to their European federal policy. At the next parliamentary election, liberal Momentum will have a tough job collecting votes from Hungarians living abroad, and the party chairman’s announcement in autumn that they would be seducing Fidesz voters, will hardly succeed with this policy. In fact, even establishing a liberal pole may prove difficult, as voters of the chosen political parties oppose the support of non-Hungarian candidates even more than that of Momentum. 67 percent of LMP supporters and 63 percent of Jobbik sympathisers are of this opinion.
The whole picture, however, is more complex. Roughly one half of young voters under the age of 30 (46 percent) think that supporting Hungarians is a must, and the other half (45 percent) think that it is not. Meanwhile, 60 percent of the over 60 age group are committed to supporting Hungarian politicians living abroad. It is also thought-provoking that only 38 percent of all Hungarians have heard of András Fekete-Győr’s statement, while 60 percent have not, and of the under 30 age group 17 percent have heard of it and 61 percent have not. On the whole, a major political mistake has caused moderate political damage to the liberal Momentum party.
Nézőpont Intézet conducted its public opinion poll between 25-29 November 2019 based on telephone interviews with 1,000 respondents. The sample is representative of the 18+ population by gender, age, region, settlement type and education level. For a sample of 1,000 at 95 percent accuracy, the error of margin is 3.16 percent.
Cover photo source: origo.hu