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Voters put off by politics but want current gov't to stay

Hungarian voters gave a thumbs down to both major political parties in a January survey, but chose to keep the embattled government, pollsters Századvég and Forsense reported on Thursday.

Only 18 percent of the sample of 1,068 voting age adults, taken on January 2-5, said they would cast their ballots for governing socialist MSZP - down by 6 percentage points from a November low - and 26% said they would vote for opposition conservative Fidesz - a 4 percentage point drop. However, 47% said they preferred to let the current MSZP-led administration complete its term of office and only 36% chose their ouster.

The vote was closer when looking at the opinions the portion of the sample that said it definitely would vote. There 47% voted to keep the government and 42% to hold early elections. The majority of the sample – 63% - said both government and opposition were doing a poor job. Although most of the people who chose to support one or the other major parties tended to be more positive about the party of their choice, the number of dissatisfied party faithful was significant, with even 27% of Fidesz supporters unhappy with their party.

Meanwhile, small conservative MDF continued to garner 6% of the votes while liberal SZDSZ received 4%, a small but significant decline. Some 25% of the sample said they were unwilling or unable to choose a party. The opposition has been calling for the Prime Minister's resignation since he revealed that he had lied about the economy to voters to win elections in April. Some September and October anti-government demonstrations were violent. (