The survey was conducted at the end of August over the phone, on a 1,000-strong representative sample, after analysts saw Karacsony as the likely winner of the opposition’s pre-election, Szazadveg said.

The pollster asked respondents to pick the candidate they thought performed better in solving key issues in Hungary. Fully 69 percent of respondents saw Orbán as a decisive and strong leader, while 19 percent said the same of Karacsony. Karacsony also trailed Orbán in his perceived performance in supporting families (30 and 61 percent, respectively), in child protection (24 percent to 57 percent), and improving the lot of pensioners (31 to 57 percent).

Similarly, 57 percent of respondents said they saw Orbán as more competent in improving the country’s economy in the wake of the pandemic, while 32 credited Karacsony with more abilities in the field. Fully 52 percent thought Orbán is better equipped to organise a health-care response to potential future epidemics, while 20 percent thought Karacsony was better suited to the task, it said.

Karacsony is likely to raise taxes and introduce austerity measures according to 55 and 52 percent of respondents respectively, while 24 percent presume Orban would raise taxes and 29 percent that he would tighten the belt, Szazadveg said.

Regarding foreign policy, 59 percent thought Orbán was better at protecting Hungarians’ interests abroad, while 30 percent supported Karacsony, Szazadveg said.