According to a poll by Republikon that asked about attitudes to emigration as well as voting preferences.
Republikon measured a 35-33 lead for Orbán against the united opposition but 29% of voters kept their preferences to themselves (or claimed not to have made up their minds yet). This is in line with other polls that found a lead for Orbán but also a massive block of secretive or undecided voters, and huge projected participation rates.
But Republikon also asked people about their attitudes to emigration and found that 33% of the working age population is actively looking at the possibility of leaving the country and 28% said they make their decision conditional on the results of the elections – and plan to leave if Orbán wins again. Because then the democracy has been damaged to the point where there is no point staying any more.
Of course it comes on top of the economic troubles and wage stagnation that can’t keep up with the rampant inflation – no matter what official statistics claim. But if Orbán remains this lack of opportunities, rampant corruption, and heavy-handed government controls remain and even the chance of a change will evaporate.
Emigration of the most agile members of society is nothing new. This blog has discussed it in detail and even observed that there were lame attempts by the government to spin the news so that it appears that people are now returning to Hungary. The entire loan-for-babies program and the housing subsidy system was meant to achieve that – and cement the couples in their marriages and houses for two decades as a condition of the loans.
This, however, only attracts the less agile and those with less competitive skills (and those who are wealthy anyway and happily pocket the government’s free money). It is questionable how many actually returned for the state money when they can make better money abroad – but without the lukewarm stench of a feudalist, pro-Russian autocracy.
This is why 28% of the active-age population answered that there is no point staying here is Orbán wins – and another 17% was hesitant either way.