Majority of Hungarians Agree with the Sargentini Report

Publicus Institute published a survey about the attitude of Hungarians towards the Sargentini-report. The results show that the majority of Hungarians understands that the report condemned the government, not the country. 44% would have voted for it.

Posted by Publicus Intézet on Sunday, September 23, 2018

On September 12 the European Parliament voted by a 2/3 majority to pass the Sargentini-report about the erosion of the rule of law in Hungary. It was all down to Orbán’s former ally, Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who in the last minute announced that the Austrian governing party should not assist to Orbán’s farce.

The results took the Orbán-juggernaut by surprise. We know it because the Orbán-media didn’t even bother to spew hatred against the report prior to the vote. On the day of the vote, however, they published dozens and dozens of insults on MEP Judith Sargentini’s person and the report itself, calling it “the Soros-Sargentini report” and claiming that it was about forcing Hungary to open up and let the migrants penetrate. They claimed that “all of Europe is congratulating Orbán”, that Judith Sargentini took an oath of allegiance to George Soros, and that leaders like Macron and Sargentini want Europe to die because they have no children. Orbán called Kurz too young to be taken seriously in his Friday radio sermon and the government will now launch a new direct mail campaign supported by a countrywide billboard and media offensive against the report, spending billions of tax forints on it. They are now softening the public to start hating the EU already (Hungarians are very supportive of the EU). Previous campaigns targeted “Brussels”, not the “EU” for exactly that reason.

In an effort to comply with the new central communication directive, all local online papers (owned by Orbán’s oligarch) published the same poll with a primitively loaded question and answers:

“Do you think that the Sargentini-report is unbiased?”

To their greatest surprise, however, the majority of respondents still pressed ‘Yes’.

  1. No, it is a poor quality job, based on whispers by the opposition – 26%
  2. Yes, the report is pointing out real dangers – 58%
  3. It is not unbiased but politics is often meant for effect – 7%
  4. A foreign politician could never understand the Hungarians – 9%

As you can see, supporting votes to the report actually won by 58%. The rest of the answers were not so much potential answers to the question, but suggestions how to argue to your friends and family. (Letting the actual respondents vote is an amateur mistake, it will surely not be repeated again and someone will be fired.)

At the same time Pulicus Institute asked the same question (but with less biased answers) and conducted a representative survey between 12-19 September. They found that Hungarians were surprisingly well-informed about the survey (72% said they have heard about the report and the surrounding controversy) and that the majority, 44% would have voted for the report.

33% would have voted against it while 23% didn’t know or didn’t answer.


Would you have voter for the Sargentini-report? 44% – yes, 33% – no (among all respondents) Source: Publicus Facebook

51% thought that the report passed judgement on the government, 28% thought it condemned the country. 

31% thought that the adherence to democratic norms was completely a national issue, 46% said it was national and EU competence, 14% responded it was completely the EU-s competence. 9% didn’t know.

89% agreed that “just because the government has 2/3 of the mandates, they can’t do whatever they want, they must be accountable.”

52% of all respondents supported EU-intervention in case of the flouting of democratic values, 42% was against it.

Only Fidesz voters showed a different result. 80% of whom would have voted against, and only 8% supported the Sargentini-report. 41-41% of Fidesz voters thought it was about the government or about the country.

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