Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban leads the polls by a mile, his opposition is a bickering patchwork of smaller parties that won’t coordinate and he dominates the public agenda through his firm grip on the media. Yet there is still a chance – a slim chance – that he could lose his majority on Sunday. That’s because a growing number of voters – guided by widely publicized independent and party-sponsored surveys available online – may be set to discard ideology and party allegiances to vote for the candidates who are most likely to win. “Voters might actually do what these parties fail to do, which is vote for the candidate who has the best chance,” Csaba Toth, strategic director of local thinktank Republikon Institue.
With a stable base of around two million voters – a quarter of the total – Orban will in all likelihood win a third consecutive term on April 8, his fourth overall, making him by far the longest serving premier in Hungary’s post-Communist history.
But polls show voters are increasingly willing to vote tactically. On Wednesday Citibank gave a 10-15 percent chance that Fidesz would fail to get a parliamentary majority, injecting an unexpected note of uncertainty into an election long seen as a sure thing.