Demszky still tops polls for Budapest mayor despite scandals
Friday, August 4, 2006, 15:14
Budapest Mayor Gábor Demszky has maintained his lead among the candidates to head the city council ahead of the municipal elections in October, despite recent scandals related to public transport, national daily Népszabadság said on Friday.
While the liberal incumbent for the last 16 years has seen his popularity plunge 8 percentage points between May and July, he still enjoys support of 37% of the capital's eligible voters as against 25% for István Tarlós, the joint candidate of the main opposition Fidesz party, the Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP) and the far-right Jobbik party. Tarlós has been mayor of Budapest's District 3 since 1990.
But 33% were either undecided or refused to say whom they would support, according to the poll carried out by Median between July 25 and 29.
Demszky, the joint candidate of the government coalition parties MSzP and SzDSz, got 52% among respondents who knew which candidate to support and said they would certainly cast their votes compared to 40% for Tarlós, suggesting that Demszky's reputation has been only slightly harmed by the scandal surrounding the introduction of new Combino trams in central Budapest, which have been recalled by their German manufacturer Siemens.