Hungarians think Orban should engage Russia more strongly – poll

The majority of Hungarians think Prime Minister Orban should engage Russia more strongly.

The proportion of Hungarians who support the government’s pro-Russian stance has dropped by 19%. The results of the survey were reported by the Hungarian journal Népszava.

The survey results reveal that despite the number of people who view Russia as an aggressor rising, the perspective of Fidesz supporters—who include Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary—is gradually shifting. However, war continues to be their top preoccupation.

According to the most recent study, which is representative of the adult Hungarian population by gender, age, and education and was conducted by the Publicus Institute at the request of the Népszava newspaper, the proportion of people who believe Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to be an act of aggression and do not share the belief that Russia is only defending itself has increased once more.

Only 56% of respondents in April described the war in Ukraine as Russian aggression, down from 64% in February. The data gathered in August showed that 63 percent of respondents again agreed with this evident conclusion. And 69 percent of respondents to the most recent survey at the end of October agreed.

One cannot claim that Fidesz backers were responsible for the rise. The attitude of supporters of the ruling party has not significantly altered since the end of August (46-43), but among those of the opposition, the situation is much clearer. 94 percent now agree, compared to 88% at the end of the summer.

The majority of respondents (57%) believed that Prime Minister Viktor Orban ought to criticize Russia for its war on Ukraine more severely. This percentage has greatly grown when compared to the institute’s April survey, which was also created for Népszava. Only 36% of the population as a whole thought the Prime Minister’s stance on Russia was weak in the spring. And 48% in the late summer.

In addition, respondents were questioned about the likelihood that Russia would deploy nuclear weapons during hostilities and whether the war would spread to Hungary.

Only 12% believe there is a probability that Hungary might be involved in a war. 17% of respondents believe Putin will decide to deploy nuclear weapons. The war in the neighborhood is also causing some concern among half of the responders. Fear is a concern for 75% of Fidesz-KDNP supporters, 50% of the opposition, and 43% of undecided voters. Because they are more open to the government’s narratives, government supporters are probably more worried about the war than any other group.

The report also addresses the military strategy of the cabinet. 40% of respondents said they are “happy” with the government’s approach to the war, while 56% said they are “dissatisfied.”

The institute’s April measurement showed a 19% decline in the number of satisfied customers.

The opposition and Fidesz-KDNP backers have quite different perspectives on whether the government permits the passage of weapons to Ukraine through its territory. Only 5% of those who support the government and 65% of the opposition would consent to the supply of weapons.

The government’s pre-war pro-Russian policy was another topic included in the poll. 85% of supporters of the government expressed satisfaction with the relations between Hungary and Russia. Even fewer, 6% of the opposition, thought favorably of the pro-Russian stance.

It is clear from this Publicus poll, when compared to earlier ones, that fewer people support the government’s pro-Russian attitude as election day approaches. If there were 56% of these people in April, there were only 39% in October. The Russian-initiated war is likely in part to blame for the decline in the economic well-being of the people of Hungary.

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