Hungary’s Jobbik, the Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom, commonly known as Jobbik) has received an opinion poll boost indicating it now has 14 percent support from the electorate.
The survey, released by the Median polling company, showed that support for Jobbik had jumped from its previous level of 10 percent. At the same time, support for Hungary’s ruling conservatives, Fidesz, dropped to 36 percent.
Support for a coalition of leftist opposition parties was set at 23 percent, making Jobbik the third largest party in Hungary.
The Median poll also showed that Jobbik leader Gabor Vona had the highest popularity rating among opposition politicians, well ahead of the leftist leaders.
Addressing a recent press conference to launch their election campaign for the April 6 national elections, Vona said the party now had had our years of experience in parliament, a good programme and a set of “excellent” candidates for the election.
“This should bring about change after 24 years of failed government,” he said.
“The three main pillars of Jobbik’s program are livelihood, ensuring fair wages and pensions; order, ensuring public safety and the peace of citizens and families; and accountability, especially for corrupt politicians,” he continued.
Vona also pledged to scrap the notion of parliamentary immunity and bring in a law which automatically doubled the punishment meted out by a court for any parliamentary deputy convicted of a crime.
His demand in this regard comes after a series of scandals among Hungarian establishment parties which have seen deputies not being prosecuted by claiming parliamentary immunity, even though ordinary citizens convicted of similar crimes have received jail sentences.
“Anyone violating the law must be punished without exception,” Vona said, adding that Jobbik would also declassify all public records and documents with the intention of exposing the full extent of the establishment party’s cover-ups.
“Jobbik is already popular among young people and males, but now has become increasingly popular among older people and women,” Vona, who is also his party’s candidate for prime minister, added.
Jobbik would also never form a coalition with any other party because of the wide ideological differences with them, and seeks instead to “win a surprise victory at the election. The goal is not second or third place: we want to win on April 6,” he said.
Vona said that neither ruling Fidesz, nor the main opposition Socialists, had come forward with an election manifesto for April 6, unlike Jobbik.
“This demonstrates that the parties that have won voter trust more than once in the past now expect this to happen again without even putting forward a program,” he said.
He also reiterated his call to Fidesz leader Viktor Orban and Socialist leader Attila Mesterhazy for a debate between all the prime ministerial candidates.
“A sweeping majority of Hungarians would want such a debate to take place,” he said.