Márki-Zay Losing Popularity in Hungary, Says Századvég Survey

  • 20 Dec 2021 11:51 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Márki-Zay Losing Popularity in Hungary, Says Századvég Survey
Péter Márki-Zay has lost much of his popularity since he became the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate, the Századvég Foundation said, based on its latest opinion poll examining how Márki-Zay’s popularityhad changed over the past two months.

In October 2021, at the time of the second round of the opposition’s primary elections, 42% of voters had a positive view of Márki-Zay and 47% had a negative opinion, Századvég said.

Over the past two months, the candidate’s popularity has been steadily declining, it said.

According to the latest poll, conducted in December, 36% of respondents had a favourable opinion of the mayor of Hódmezővásárhely and 56% expressed a negative view, reflecting a significant loss in popularity over such a short time, Századvég said.

The poll also revealed that he is liked by 44% of voters aged below 40 years and 30% of those older than 40.

He is unpopular among pensioners, with just 24% expressing a favourable opinion of the candidate and 66% rejecting him. Among uncertain voters, he is currently liked by 24% and disliked by 45%, Századvég said.

Lánczi: Márki-Zay's Falling Popularity Linked to Opposition to Utility Bill Reduction Scheme

The fall in popularity of opposition prime ministerial candidate Péter Márki-Zay is strongly linked to his opposition to the government’s well-liked scheme capping utility bills, according to political scientist Tamás Lánczi.

The academic told public broadcaster Kossuth Rádió that massive pressure from lobbyists to scrap the scheme was behind the politician’s declared policy.

Meanwhile, commenting on Europe’s energy woes, Lánczi said Germany and Brussels were “at war with common sense”. Germany and some western European countries wanted to raise taxes on utility bills to pay the cost of upgrading their poorly functioning energy infrastructure, and if these plans were implemented, then energy prices would balloon.

When it comes to EU climate goals, Hungary is on board and on track to meet them, he said. But Germany refuses to use nuclear energy or give the go-ahead to the Nord Stream-2 pipeline, both essential to meeting climate targets, he added.

Energy prices, he said, are an important factor in Hungarian politics. The left wing, he added, tended to be in favour of high energy prices, citing related “business interests”. He noted that after 2010, energy prices went down and the “money spigot” of foreign energy companies was closed off.

These companies, however, are hopeful their exorbitant profits will return after the 2022 general election. Berlin and Brussels, he added, were behind the Hungarian political forces that promoted these business interests.

Lánczi noted that Márki-Zay had worked for an energy supplier in the early 2000s. Foreign support for Hungary’s opposition, he added, did not come free of charge and was given quid pro quo. Márki-Zay, he said, had often questioned the policy of utility bill reductions and declared his intention to abolish them.

The opposition politician had only lately cottoned on to the extent of his stance’s unpopularity, he said, adding that it was “surprising” that he hadn’t noticed this before.

Lánczi said Márki-Zay was not only opposed to the will of ordinary Hungarians when it came to energy bills, but also their views on migration clearly stated in a referendum.

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