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Hungary's ruling socialists trim gap with Fidesz party in poll

Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s governing party narrowed the gap with former premier Viktor Orbán's Fidesz Party, an opinion poll showed.a

Support for the Socialists stayed at 27%, while Fidesz fell to 34% from 36%, according to a poll by Budapest-based polling company Median. The opposition's lead has narrowed from as much as 16%age points in September. Gyurcsány won re-election in April with the Socialists edging Fidesz by 1.3 percentage points. He has since raised taxes and cut subsidies to reduce the European Union's widest budget deficits. „After a hot October, public opinion started to quiet down in early December and this phenomenon didn't stop in December,” the pollster said on its Web site.

„Fidesz seems to be the loser of people turning away from politics.” Gyurcsány’s personal approval rating rose to 36% from 33%, while Orbán’s fell to 43% from 48%. Among likely voters with a party preference, Fidesz was at 50% to 39% for the Socialists. Both the governing Free Democrats' Alliance and the opposition Hungarian democratic Forum were at 4%, shy of the threshold for winning seats parliament. The share of undecided voters was 27%. Median polled 1,200 Hungarians on December 1-5. The results carry a 3% margin of error. (Bloomberg)