According to the new Závecz Research by Telex, the majority of Hungarians do not wish to strengthen Hungary’s ties with Putin. In fact, the Russian leader’s popularity has fallen dramatically over the past 5 years.
The Závech Research
The research was conducted between May 20 and 23, 2022, by interviewing 1,000 people by telephone. In total, the respondents represent the adult population of the country by age, gender, education and type of settlement. The previous research used the same methodology in March 2017.
Data from 2017
Five years ago, Hungarians did not seem to see eye-to-eye on the question of whether Hungary should maintain an amicable relationship with Russia. However, the general public opinion was quite positive towards Russia. Almost half of the respondents (48 percent) were in favour of forming a closer relationship with the powerful country, but the opposition rate was also high (41 percent).
In 2017, only 49 percent of respondents thought that Russian leaders would threaten Hungary’s future. – reports 24.hu.
The war changed everything
The decline in Putin’s popularity is probably related to the fact that Russia has attacked Ukraine 3 months ago.
In the latest research in 2022, 66 percent of the respondents see Russia as a potential threat.
Although not all Hungarians show an unfriendly attitude towards Putin, uncertainty has increased. Now, 45 percent of respondents were in favour of turning away from Russia, and 22 percent could not form an opinion.
Not surprisingly, Hungarian society is highly polarised on this issue on the basis of party sympathy.
83 percent of opposition voters would back away from Russia, compared to 27 percent of government party voters.
What is more, Fidesz voters are far more pro-Russian than the average respondents: the majority (45 percent) would maintain a bond with the country. However, there is a large number (28 percent) of undecided Fidesz voters who are not so sure about the situation.
On a 100-point scale, the Russian president received only 6 points from voters in the opposition coalition, 44 from Fidesz and 53 from sympathisers of Mi Hazánk (Our Homeland).
Apart from Fidesz voters, the right-wing party Mi Hazánk demonstrates the biggest support for Putin.
What does the government think about Putin?
Viktor Orbán’s point of view regarding Putin has always been quite controversial. The Hungarian prime minister has been frequently critisized for attending meetings with the Russian leader or getting more and more involved with the country economically. While the Hungarian government seems to be rather Russian-friendly, looks can be deceiving.
“The communication between Fidesz and the pro-government press about the war is not about openly supporting Russia, but rather about being cunning because everyone else is lying.” – explained the director of Political Capital.