Policy Solutions (with support from the German Friedrich Ebert Stiftung) and Závecz Research conducted a poll on the tenth anniversary of Orbán’s rule. The poll took place between 3.10 March, before the corona crisis.
Among many things, the 94-page report (pdf) finds that voter have a rather twisted world view these days.
Now the first item on their list of Orbán’s achievement can be forgiven. The 2019 loan-for babies program can easily be mistaken with well-meaning policy, even if it aims to tie down the recipients for decades with loans of such rigid conditions that would outrage a free mind. And if the couple fails to comply (deliver the expected number of children in the allotted time, while staying together, living in the same place, etc.) there will be penalty. To avoid the penalty for infertility, for instance, the female must undergo at least five cycles of IVF, as fast as possible, regardless of health status. The latter policy has been called “free IVF for Hungarian couples” in the media.
The only question about Orbán’s most policy-looking measure is why he had to wait 9 years to come up with it? The targeted females are entering their 40s this year.
As of the protection against non-existent migrants, the reduction of utility bills, the statistical wage increases, the fight against multinational corporations and other foreign evil – people have learned them from billboards. Not only did they not happen (there has been no immigration pressure on Hungary at any point), they are also the opposite of true (Orbán actually let the EU quota migrants to settle in Hungary, he couldn’t care less. The utility bills may have been frozen for the 2014 elections and didn’t increase since, but they are now wildly above market prices that billboards fail to mention. Buying a home has become almost impossible due to the house price hike and stagnant wages – unless you accepted the loan-for-babies, which let you to buy eligible properties at the top of the market and tied you down for decades in misery and compliance. Those people will not rock the boat any time soon.)
Gloating sentiment like those who want to work, can work and finally the homeless people are banned are just staple authoritarian self-soothing and stomping on the even weaker, a feel-good substitution to having a real, self-made life.
What the public considers to be Orbán’s greatest failure is the state of healthcare (before corona!), Orbán’s open efforts to push the poor even deeper down with every possible tool for some reason (not just neutral or not helpful, but actually punitive towards them) and the megalomaniac corruption enriching fronts and family. Somehow Orbán’s communist mantra not to give money to those who don’t work doesn’t apply to his family.
Some more conclusions from the report:
“More people say that Hungary’s overall situation has deteriorated since 2010 than those who believe it has improved. According to 43% of Hungarians, the country is in a worse situation overall, and only 30% see an improvement”
According to half of the society, there is no democracy in Hungary today
In the assessment of the statement that “there is democracy in Hungary”, 48% said yes, but 47% think that what is in Hungary today can no longer be considered a proper democracy.
Hungarian society is completely divided on the question about the chances of a democratic change of government
“In Spring 2020, those who believe that the Orbán government can no longer be replaced in democratic elections are in a slight majority compared those who say that Orbán will be removed one day in a democratic way (40%).”
“After the successes of the opposition at the 2019 local elections, hopes for changing government have strengthened, but there is still a very serious lack of confidence in the institution of elections in Hungary.”
The biggest change has taken place among the undecideds, who did not believe in the chances of a democratic change of government (31% vs. 51%) before the opposition’s surprise victory in October 2019, but in March 2020 the majority of them are optimistic (42% vs. 36%).