The governing party of Hungary, Fidesz, is the most popular Hungarian party among the ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia; most of them sympathise with the Hungarian Government, moreover, the support for Mr. Orbán and his fellow party members is almost at the same level among SMK-MKP (Party of the Hungarian Community) and Most—Híd voters. According to the results of a comprehensive representative public opinion poll — with a sample size of 722 participants — conducted by Focus Agency for the Bratislava-based Új Szó daily newspaper in September, only 37% of the respondents said that they were interested in politics of Hungary.

Disinterest was particularly high among 18-24-year-olds and students; 84% of the two groups were not interested in politics of Hungary. Interest in politics increased with educational attainment level: 58% of the participants with a higher education degree were interested in the political situation of Hungary.

Viktor Orbán’s government had basically a positive image among ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia; 49% of the respondents had a very or rather positive perception of the Hungarian Government. The respondents who had negative perception of it was 30%, however a large group representing 20% could not give their opinion on the current Hungarian Government.

The sympathisers of the SMK-MKP and the Most-Híd had almost the same perception of the Hungarian Government. 62% of the Most-Híd sympathisers and 57% of the SMK-MKP voters considered the activities of Mr. Orbán’s government to be positive, and 57% of Most-Híd sympathisers and 49% of the SMK-MKP voters were positive about the work carried out in the interests of ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia.

According to Martin Slosiarik, Director of the Focus Agency conducting the opinion poll, the hypothesis that SMK-MKP voters automatically take a positive stance, and Most-Híd voters a negative stance towards the activities of the Fidesz has been refuted. According to him, that premise is based on an erroneous assumption; the Fidesz has stronger relations with the SMK-MKP than with the Most—Híd, however, despite the fact that it is true at the level of political leadership, it does not affect the voters’ judgement.

The attitudes of ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia towards the parties of Hungary are largely similar to the results of opinion polls conducted in Hungary. According to the public opinion poll conducted by Focus Agency, 29.9% of the ethnic Hungarian respondents of Slovakia most sympathised with the Fidesz. The MSZP (Hungarian Socialist Party) ranked second, far behind the Fidesz (10.1%), and the Jobbik (Movement for a Better Hungary) ranked third (9.8%). Ferenc Gyurcsány’s party, the DK (Democratic Coalition) ranked fourth (5.3%). Collectively, 5.3% of the respondents preferred the LMP (Politics Can Be Different), the Együtt (Together) and the Momentum (Momentum Movement).

Nonetheless, Hungarian parties will not be able to exploit their electoral potential among Hungarians in Slovakia, since the number of dual nationals who could register to vote in the 2018 Hungarian parliamentary elections is still very few due to the Slovak Citizenship Law. It is estimated that ballots cast by ethnic Hungarians living abroad may have influence over the fate of 2 or 3 mandates. According to the election results to date, the Fidesz is clearly the most popular party of Hungary among ethnic Hungarians living outside Hungary’s borders, as this party received 95% of valid postal votes in 2014.

(Márk Finta,, 22 Nov 2017)