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Hungary's ruling Socialists lose support to Fidesz

Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s Socialist Party lost support to the largest opposition party as public concern mounted over the government's economic austerity program, an opinion poll showed.

Support for the Socialists fell to 22% from 23% in October, according to a monthly poll by Budapest-based polling Gallup. Backing for the opposition Fidesz party climbed 1 percentage point to 33%, Gallup said. The Socialists won April's elections with 43% of the vote. The government has since then raised taxes and imposed higher prices for utilities and medicine as a part of its plan to cut the budget deficit, the highest in the EU. “The public assessment of the economy is incredibly unfavorable: 84% said it was bad or very bad,” Gallup said in an e-mailed report today.

“There was not a single respondent who said the state of the economy was very good.” Among decided voters, Fidesz claimed 52% support compared with 34% for the Socialists. The opposition Hungarian Democratic Forum was the only other party that would pass the 5% threshold for Parliament, scoring 6% support among decided voters, Gallup said. The share of undecided voters was 17%, while 20% said they would not vote at all. Gallup surveyed 1,020 Hungarians between November 8 and 14. The results carry a 3.2% margin of error. (Bloomebrg)