Urban Career Starters are by far the youngest community. They are mostly men between the ages of 18 and 29. They generally live in Budapest or other large cities.
In terms of their education, this is one of the most conflicting groups, because it has a high number of members with basic schooling or higher education, albeit the latter in slightly lower proportions. This category has the most students, so the number of those with high school diplomas and university degrees will presumably rise in the coming years. They do not identify with a specific class, in fact a majority reject the idea of social classes altogether. Those who have classified themselves were more likely to pick the middle class.
Their income levels are average, and they are satisfied with this. The overwhelming majority say they live comfortably from their wages. Partly due to their young age, they do not have savings or debt. They usually live in microdistricts, apartment buildings or perhaps residential homes.
They consider video games, reading books, sports, fitness, sporting events and going out to bars as their hobbies. In terms of media consumption habits, daily newspapers, weekly magazines or print media are neglected; the majority do not read print media at all. Instead, they listen to music radios: Petőfi, Music FM, Juventus, and Jazzy. They also surf the internet regularly.
Urban Career Starters are among the least political groups. There is no sign of revolutionary fervour here. Accordingly, this group had the highest number of people who abstain from voting. Some of them favour dictatorships, but this type of antidemocratic sentiment is still only possessed by a minority. Urban Career Starters are averagely religious.
This is a politically passive, but right-wing group. They do not consider themselves to be liberals or conservatives. Out of all political parties they mostly favour Fidesz, but they only gave it 6 points out of 10. They tolerate Jobbik, but they dislike the parties of the left.
This group of undecided voters and/or voters who refuse to disclose their voting intentions is very small, and it consists of middle aged people and those over 60. Most of them live in municipal towns. The Rural Elite is typically married.
They have the most education among the rural population. They generally have degrees and none of them lack a high school diploma. Those of them who are still working are in leadership or intellectual positions. They identify strongly with the middle or upper middle classes. As can be expected from a rural middle class group, they have extensive and high-status personal networks. They are acquainted mostly with teachers, engineers, lawyers and doctors.
This is one of the best-off categories, with considerable savings in terms of both proportion and quantity. They do not have debts. Their homes are pricey, but, perhaps due to their rural locations, their values are still lower than those of other less wealthy socioeconomic groups’ residences. They live in large apartments, residential homes, apartment buildings or two-story village homes.
In line with its name, the group spends its time much like all elites: they go to classical concerts, museums and restaurants, and they read books. Simultaneously, they like DIY, gardening and watching TV. Despite their relatively advanced age, they are familiar with the internet. They are active readers of newspapers who buy quality papers, while tabloids are unpopular in their circles. The right-wing Magyar Nemzet, regional papers, women’s magazine such as Nők Lapja, and liberal/left-wing newspapers (HVG, 168 Óra, and Magyar Narancs) are also preferred choices.
They are actively interested in public and political life. They are strongly opposed to dictatorships. They are more conservative than average and mildly right-wing, but they are mostly moderates. They sympathize somewhat with LMP, Fidesz and even MSZP. They disdain the Democratic Coalition, Jobbik and Együtt/PM. They see both the advantages and disadvantages of the European Union.
This small group of Fidesz supporters consists primarily of men, and its members are generally over 45 years of age. They are typically resident in county seats and other rural towns. Almost every Wealthy Rural Churchgoer is married or cohabits with a partner.
A decisive majority of the group have a university degree and almost all of them have completed secondary education. They typically work in high-level jobs. A considerable majority believes that they belong to a definite social group; they have a strong upper middle class identity.
This voter group has a high income and substantial savings. A significant portion have plenty of money set aside. Characteristically, they reside in new residential areas and they live in high-value properties.
Among their typical leisure activities is the enjoyment of various forms of high culture. In terms of print media, it is clear that they make up most of the audience of the right-wing Magyar Nemzet and Heti Válasz. It can be said that they read a diverse range of newspapers, but they almost entirely avoid tabloids.
The members of the group are also active in religious/church organizations. From among civic political organizations, they sympathize mostly with the pro-government astroturf group, the Civil Unity Forum (CÖF), but they are more open to far right movements than other groups of Fidesz supporters. This voting group claims to follow the teachings of the Church the most, and there are very few atheists or deists among them.
Members are more interested in public and, more specifically, political life than average. On the political spectrum, they identify with the right and they confess to being the most conservative. Of course Fidesz is the most popular party in this group, but Jobbik also finds support.
They personally feel the advantages of EU membership, but they also agree with the statement that Hungary’s sovereignty was considerably weakened by European integration. In terms of political protests in recent years, this group is the most sympathetic to the pro-government Peace March movement.
The larger bloc of LMP voters is made up of this small group. They are young or middle-aged. A majority live in Budapest or county seats.
They are exceptionally highly educated and many have degrees. They tend do intellectual work, and many of them are in leadership positions or have office jobs. They identify as middle class or upper middle class.
Young Urban White Collar Workers live very well. They have high wages and many have considerable savings. They live in residential homes, villas or rural two-story houses.
Their free time is spent consuming high culture; low culture does not get a look in. They like going to restaurants, museums, exhibitions or theatres. Half of them use the internet recreationally. They read the liberal Magyar Narancs, HVG and Figyelő magazines. They listen to Petőfi music radio.
This group is by far the most active in civic life. It is, by and large, disproportionately represented in all organized civic activity, from educational groups to organizations providing social care. Two-thirds of them are not religious, but those who are, follow the teachings of the Church.
This group’s interest in political matters is higher than average. They are dedicated to the institution of democracy and only a small minority consider dictatorships to be more advantageous under certain conditions. Ideologically, they are left of centre, and they consider themselves to be more liberal than conservative. They prefer LMP and vehemently dislike the parties of the right. Együtt/PM is neutral to them and, on a scale of 1 to 10, they believe other left-wing parties merit a score of 4. Out of recent protests, they are most sympathetic to demonstrations against the expansion of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant, but they are also fans of Critical Mass.
Members of the Sliding Middle Class are uncertain left-wing voters, whose ties to the parties of the left are not particularly strong. Fundamentally, this large group is made up of middle-aged and elderly people who might live in county seats, but a majority dwell in smaller country towns. They tend to cohabit more than other groups.
The typical maximum level of education here is secondary. The ratio of inactivity is exceptional, which may point to a high degree of unemployment. In terms of types of work, members are characterized by both white- and blue-collar jobs. Those who identified with a social class considered themselves to be middle class.
The group’s income is below average, but this is not the most desperate community in the country, to say the least. However, they confess to having trouble making ends meet, and thus they project the image of a middle class which is getting poorer. They live in microdistricts or old apartment buildings. They are avid readers and they buy a variety of newspapers and magazines. They like women’s magazines, such as Nők Lapja, Kiskegyed and Story. Their taste in the political press is focused on the left-wing 168 Óra and the liberal Magyar Narancs. Many of them watch the news and are positive TV omnivores: RTL Klub, TV2, Duna TV, ATV, Hír TV and Story4 television channels are all frequent choices.
Their hobbies show a lack of diversity. They like to stay active around their homes, doing gardening or DIY. At the same time, they enjoy reading books or newspapers, and they use the internet. In terms of religion this is a divided group. Half of them are religious and follow the teachings of the Church to a large degree. Those of them who are non-religious are unusually atheistic.
The group is very much interested in public and political life, as is apparent from their media consumption habits and their dedication to democracy. This is a moderately left-wing group, but they do not consider themselves to be either conservatives or liberals. A small majority of them voted for the left-wing coalition in the 2014 elections, but they are not particularly committed. During the 2014 campaign for the European Parliament, their votes were split between the left and the extreme right Jobbik. They are moderately pro-EU, and they are more likely to see advantages to membership than disadvantages.
The Apolitical Middle Class has a slight majority of men, and it is best described as a (younger) middle-aged group. They live in county seats or smaller cities, but they are underrepresented in Budapest and villages.
The group mostly has a secondary education. They are predominantly active workers who are employed in offices or the service industry (salesmen, hairdressers). They consider themselves to be lower middle or working class.
The group’s income is low, but not the lowest of the surveyed groups. They are able to save to an average degree, but their savings are far below the usual. They live in modest-value apartments, rural residential areas or village homes.
The group prefers active hobbies such as gardening, DIY, fishing, picking mushrooms, making preserves or sports. Additionally, they read books but watch less TV and use less internet. They do not go to museums, theatres or concerts. Their most popular pastime is shopping. The Apolitical Middle Class avoids print media and television. They listen to Class FM and Music FM (music radios) and rarely turn the dial to other radio stations.
The group is more likely to be religious on its own terms than the average, but the number of nonreligious people is also significant. The two extremes – atheists and those who follow the teachings of the Church strictly – are underrepresented here.
The group is the very manifestation of centrism. They are not particularly interested in public or political life, they do not lean towards either the right or the left, and they are neither conservatives nor liberals. It is possible that they do not even think in these terms. The only party they find more favourable than average is LMP, and they are more likely to reject the Democratic Coalition. They participate in elections, but they keep their electoral choices to themselves. Those who do share their party preferences tend to support smaller parties that did not pass the vote threshold or LMP.
In addition to the previous, more populous category of Jobbik supporters, the Radical Elite is the other characteristic, albeit much smaller, community that adheres to the views of the radical party. This is one of the most male-dominated electoral groups; the proportion of men is much higher here than that of women. The youngest and oldest demographics can both be found in the Radical Elite. They generally live in county seats and rural towns.
They tend to be highly educated; the number of those with a university degree is exceptionally high. A quarter of them are still students. Many of them are employed in leadership positions and a large number of them work in the service industry. Two-thirds of them classify themselves as middle class, and an additional fifth say they are upper middle class. Their personal networks are extensive and they are very familiar with the social elite.
Their household incomes are among the highest. Many of them are able to save a considerable amount of money. All of them own their own homes, which tend to be new residential homes, apartments or rural two-story houses.
High culture makes up an important part of their social leisure activities. They often go to restaurants, museums, exhibitions and classical concerts. Their musical tastes are dominated by the rock and classical genres. They are one of the most enthusiastic audiences of the right-wing Magyar Nemzet, but they do not read the conservative Heti Válasz, which they probably consider to be too moderate. With regard to internet news sites, they are one of the largest groups of visitors to the far right Kurucinfo.
Many of them participate in civic life, but they are also often members of or activists for parties. Their »arch enemy« is the human rights watchdog Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ), but they also harbour unfavourable views of the pro-government fake NGO, the CÖF. Out of all the voting groups, this is the least religious. Almost none of them follow the teachings of the Church.
A very high number of them believe that, under certain circumstances, dictatorship is better than multiparty democracy. They identify as ardently right-wing and mildly conservative. They are also the most radical surveyed group, although they are more accepting of Fidesz than the other group of Jobbik enthusiasts. The overwhelming majority of the group only sees disadvantages in accession to the European Union.
Although the Old Proletariat is very similar to Urban Low-Income Pensioners, we chose to discuss them separately because of their rural residencies and somewhat more educated family backgrounds. Because of these differences, they are more likely to vote MSZP instead of Democratic Coalition. The group is predominantly made up of people over 60 years of age and men. They live in towns and county seats. Almost all of them are married or cohabiting.
Most of them have high school diplomas or vocational qualifications. They are divided in terms of group activity: half of them are still working, while the other half are either retirees or disability pensioners. In spite of low levels of education and unfavourable financial situations, group members have extensive personal networks.
Members of the Old Proletariat have difficulty or extreme difficulty making ends meet. Accordingly, their savings are minimal. Their housing situation is not good either, but they are also not among the most hopeless. The majority live in average-value microdistrict apartments or rural homes.
When it comes to leisure, this group is not very active and has few hobbies. Gardening and DIY are typical pastimes. The group rarely picks up a newspaper, and if they decide to do so, it will most likely be a tabloid or the National Sport daily. They favour the left-wing/liberal ATV and the commercial Viasat3 for television and listen to the public Kossuth and Petőfi radio stations.
A quarter of them participate in local civic organizations and they have a high number of party members. Most of them are not religious at all.
They are extremely dissatisfied with the current situation of Hungarian democracy, but many of them could also imagine living in a dictatorship instead. In terms of values, this is the most left-wing group. Their preferred party is the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), but they are not estranged from Democratic Coalition (DK) or Együtt/PM either.
This small group makes up less than half of the Hungarian green party, LMP’s voters. The majority are male, and they are generally between 30 and 44 years of age. They live in Budapest or county seats. They have a high proportion of singles, but most of them cohabit without being married.
Compared with the rest of the population, this group has twice as many current students. Those of them who are on the labour market, however, lack university qualifications. An overwhelming majority work in the private sector, more specifically in the service industry. They are store clerks, hairdressers and waiters. They mainly regard themselves as working class.
Their wages are higher than average, although many of them say their budgets are tight. A possible reason for this is that they live in Budapest, where expenses are more significant. A majority of the group live in microdistricts.
Their free time is dominated by indoor hobbies. Watching TV is a characteristic pastime and they tend to read the least. Many of them, however, use social media. This group plays the most video games, and they like going out to pubs, cafes or clubs. They are fond of sports. They are more religious than average but on their own terms. They usually do not follow the teachings of the Church.
They consume fewer media products than usual. They only read the printed press if it is free (Metropol, Helyi Téma). But they are the most active users of Facebook and, by far, Twitter.
After Fidesz and Jobbik supporters, they consider themselves to be the most right-wing and they likely see themselves as conservatives. They find LMP to be the most agreeable party, but they do not reject Fidesz either. They dislike Jobbik and DK the most. More than a quarter of them say that under certain conditions dictatorship is better than democracy. They are divided concerning the benefits and disadvantages of EU membership, but they are more sceptical than optimistic about the EU.
This relatively populous group includes high numbers of women and retirement-age people. In addition to Budapest, they generally live in towns that are not county seats. They are usually married, but many of them are widowed or divorced.
This is a group with minimal education. Many of them have only basic schooling. They have strong class identities; they consider themselves to be working or lower middle class citizens.
Their financial situation is worse than average and they are among the low-income electoral groups. Three-quarters of Urban Low-Income Pensioners say their subpar incomes make life difficult or very difficult for them. They live in old microdistrict flats in poor condition or urban slums.
In their free time, almost all of them watch television, but they often read newspapers as well. Just a small minority participate in civic organizations; only their memberships of parties and trade unions are remarkable. The majority are not religious and those who are tend to ignore the teachings of the Church.
Tabloid newspapers, specifically Blikk and Bors, are very popular with this group. Many of them read the left-wing/liberal political press, namely HVG, Népszabadság and 168 Óra. This demographic contains the highest number of the left-wing/liberal ATV channel viewers.
Urban Low-Income Pensioners are characterized by an exceptional interest in public and political life. Their ideological identities are defined by very strong leftism and liberalism. The party they sympathize with the most is the Democratic Coalition, but they are also very warm towards MSZP and Együtt/PM. This is a very pro-European group.
This small group of Együtt/PM supporters consists mostly of women. They are predominantly middle aged and over 45. This is one of the most urban categories.
An absolute majority have university diplomas; those without a high school diploma are a negligible segment. Many of them work in the public sector and typically in office-related or other white-collar positions. They overwhelmingly assert that they are middle class, but many identify as upper middle class.
Their income level is especially high, so it is unsurprising that they have savings that are multiples of the Hungarian median. They are typically housed in newly-built residential areas, renovated microdistrict flats and larger apartments.
In their free time, the Pragmatic Urban Intellectuals read newspapers and books and surf the internet. They also like being active; a high percentage of them do sports regularly. They exclusively purchase liberal/left-leaning media products such as Magyar Narancs, Népszabadság, HVG, 168 Óra and Figyelő, and they do so in high numbers.
Their participation in civic organizations is average. When they do partake in these, they are members of trade unions or environmental protection groups. The number of explicit atheists is particularly high in this category.
They self-identify as left-wing and moderately liberal, and they are the least likely to be radicals. They definitely prefer Együtt/PM the most. They also support other parties on the left, in the following order: Democratic Coalition, MSZP and even LMP. They are indubitably pro-European.
The Elite of the Previous Regime is in many ways similar to the Left-Liberal Intelligentsia. The main difference is the former group’s rural residence. The category is made up predominantly of men and it is overrepresented among those over 60.
The Elite of the Previous Regime is highly educated and they are much more likely to have university degrees than average. They identify strongly with the middle and upper middle classes. Their personal networks are »elitist«. They are primarily on good terms with university graduates such as lawyers, engineers and directors.
Their income is higher than average, but it is not exceptional. Accordingly, although the majority are happy with their incomes, a significant portion struggle to get by with their pensions. At the same time, the group’s savings are higher than average, both proportionally and quantitatively. For them, the most typical housing arrangements are microdistrict flats, but many of them live in apartment buildings or large apartments.
Watching TV and reading books and newspapers are the most important pastime for this demographic. They also like open air hobbies, such as gardening and fishing, but they avoid social media. In addition to free newspapers, they like women’s magazines and tabloids. Naturally, they also consume liberal/left-leaning media products such as Népszabadság, 168 Óra and HVG. In addition to the »mandatory« ATV television channel, they also watch the commercial TV channel RTL Klub (while the other leading commercial TV channel, TV2 is less popular).
The group, in contrast to the other part of the left-wing elite, is very religious. Most of those surveyed practice one religion or another, and many of them are strict adherents of the rules of the Church.
They are a very left-wing, liberal and moderate group; they can identify almost completely with these values. Their favoured party is MSZP, but the Democratic Coalition, Együtt/PM and even LMP are also popular. They view the European Union favourably but not as unequivocally as the Left-Liberal Intelligentsia.
The small group of the Emerging Youth is mostly made up of men and those between the ages of 18 and 44. They live primarily in rural towns.
This is a highly educated assemblage as over half of them have university degrees. However, they are far behind the most schooled groups. Their employment rates are the highest; over three-quarters of them are working. A very high number of them work in »intellectual« or in leadership positions. Their advanced schooling is visible in their class identities, with most members identifying as middle class. An exceptionally large number believe they are upper middle class.
The Emerging Youth has the highest number of people who have a comfortable life from their wages. This is unsurprising, because their net household incomes are among the highest in the country. Although they do not have a lot of saved money, the percentage of those who are able to save is high. They typically reside in rural residential homes.
The Emerging Youth often goes to restaurants and concerts. They read newspapers and books, and they visit cafes. They do not like watching TV, playing video games or going to sporting events. At the same time, they also avoid high culture such as the opera, theatre and museums. An exceptionally high proportion of them read Nők Lapja (women’s magazine). They also have a clear preference for Vasárnap Reggel (Sunday newspaper), Népszabadság (left-wing daily) and Nemzeti Sport (daily sport newspaper). They listen to Petőfi Radio.
Regarding their political attitudes, the Emerging Youth differ significantly from other groups in that they view all political parties negatively. Ideologically speaking they are a bit more conservative than average, but they are generally in the centre. A significant majority are not religious, and almost none of them follow the teachings of the Church. They are divided on questions pertaining to the European Union. Although they view European integration more positively than most, they see both the benefits and drawbacks of EU membership.
Although all age groups can be found in the middle-sized group of the Impoverished Rural Lower Middle Class, most of them are between 30 and 44 years of age. This is a distinctly village-dwelling category. Having two children on average, they are particularly active child-bearers.
Most of them went through vocational training, but they are also more likely to have high school diplomas than average. They are usually skilled or unskilled workers. A majority view themselves as belonging to the lower social classes, but many identify as working or middle class.
In terms of wages and savings, this group is below most responders. They have an average amount of debt except when it comes to utilities, where they are significantly behind. They live in village homes or low-comfort flats.
The Impoverished Rural Lower Middle Class rarely has time for hobbies, but they still like gardening and attending sporting events. They use social media extensively. They like contemporary Hungarian folk music, read tabloids (Blikk, Bors) and women’s magazines (Kiskegyed, Story).
This group is basically absent from civic life. They are similar to the Hungarian average in terms of their religious preferences, and half of them are religious on their own terms. They are unlikely to follow the teachings of the Church and many of them are atheists.
This group is fairly distanced from political and public life, and they are very uninterested in these topics. They are unable to make use of the left/right and liberal/conservative spectrums; they identify as centrists in each of these categories. They have unfavourable views of the European Union. Although this group was the third largest group of Jobbik supporters, they are not committed followers of the party. While Fidesz was preferred slightly more than average, they view LMP and, to a much larger degree, the left-wing parties unfavourably.
The largest sample of Jobbik supporters are Young Rural Blue-Collar Workers. They tend to be between the ages of 30 and 44, but they are also overrepresented in younger age groups. Most of them live in villages or towns. The number of singles or of those cohabiting but unmarried is very high among them.
They are most likely to have secondary education; that is to say, they have high school diplomas or vocational training. A relatively large portion are still students. Their social integration and personal networks are particularly weak.
Their average wage is low. Two-thirds of them say that the amount they earn puts them in a difficult or very difficult financial situation. The value of any real estate they might own is among the lowest of all groups surveyed, often under 6 million HUF. They typically live in village homes or rural residential areas.
Few of them have hobbies, and these tend to revolve around the computer or fishing. They rarely read books or newspapers. Their taste in music is dominated by rock. The majority of this group do not read the printed press at all, but they are likely to be informed by social media.
Their participation in civic organizations is minimal. If they do participate in clubs, these tend to be »patriotic« and aimed at preserving »Hungarian traditions«. They are the main sympathizers of the extreme right Hungarian Guard and the Sixty-Four Counties Youth Movement. They are generally atheists, but even religious members of the group are unlikely to be churchgoers.
Like the followers of Fidesz, they, too, tend to identify strongly as right-wingers, but they are not characteristically conservative. At the same time, they can be viewed as exceptionally radical. This group is most likely to view dictatorship as acceptable vis-à-vis democracy. Their opinion of the European Union is generally negative. Protests against banks, Trianon remembrance ceremonies and demonstrations of the Hungarian Guard are most popular among Young Rural Blue-Collar Workers.
This middle-sized group has a higher ratio of men and people over sixty years of age than average. They mostly live in Budapest and county seats. The group consists primarily of married or widowed individuals.
Normally, they are well-educated; most of them have degrees. Many of them work in leadership or intellectual positions. According to their self-characterization, this group has a strong middle-class identity.
Their household incomes and the values of their homes are somewhat higher than average. They live in smaller microdistricts, green areas or new residential homes.
The Conservative Middle Class’s hobbies are – in addition to their preferred pastime of watching TV – reading newspapers and books, as well as going out to restaurants. They are more likely to be fond of classical music and less likely to enjoy electronic or contemporary Hungarian folk music than average. The Conservative Middle Class is one of the most dedicated consumers of public television and radio programming. The right-wing Hír TV is also popular among them. They are the largest audience for the also right-wing Lánchíd Radio.
They are highly involved in civic life. A significant portion participates in religious or civic organizations. The overwhelming majority consider themselves to be religious and they are more likely to follow the teachings of the church than average.
They are explicitly interested in politics. This is a right-wing and conservative group, but they distance themselves from all forms of radicalism. They are aware of both the benefits and drawbacks of the European Union. They are unsympathetic towards all protests and activities critical of the Orbán government.
In comparison with other sympathizers of the left, this bloc is much smaller. The group is generally made up of elderly men from Budapest. Two-thirds of them are over 60. They are mostly married, widowers or divorced.
They are highly educated and include an exceptionally high number of university graduates. Many of them are (or used to be) in leadership positions. They have a stronger than average sense of class identity; they consider themselves to be middle class, but many identify with the lower or upper middle classes as well.
Their households are among those with the highest incomes. Many of them are able to save and their savings are unusually high. They live in brick apartment buildings or residential areas, but many of them have larger apartments or villas.
They enjoy shopping and eating at restaurants, and they like to host friends in their homes. Compared with other groups, their social leisure time is more likely to be characterized by reading newspapers and books. Their favourite newspapers are the liberal and left-wing ones, namely Népszabadság, HVG, 168 Óra, Magyar Narancs and Figyelő. They are the most overrepresented group among left-wing/liberal ATV viewers. They provide the most populous audience for the left-wing Klubradio and Juventus music radio.
Among the Left-Liberal Intelligentsia, we can barely find adherents of religion. This is where the highest number of explicitly antireligious people are to be found.
Their values are strongly oriented towards left-wing and liberal ideas and they are characterized by moderation. They are steadfast supporters of the Democratic Coalition, but they also appreciate all other left-wing parties. Of these, they sympathize especially with Együtt/PM, but they also find the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) to be acceptable. Albeit to a much smaller degree, they also agree with Politics Can Be Different (LMP).
They are diehard supporters of democracy and the most pro-European group. They see only advantages from Hungary’s EU membership.
This group is without clear political preferences and is the largest homogenous category in our research. Indigent Workers are mostly young or middle aged. They live primarily in townships.
An exceptional number only has a basic education, while the proportion of those with vocational training or high school diplomas is average. Those who are working are employed as skilled or unskilled workers. This group has the lowest degree of class consciousness, but some consider themselves to be working class.
Naturally, all these factors affect their livelihoods. They practically lack savings and they feel this financial lag acutely: they have a hard or very hard time getting by. They tend to live in poor quality houses at the edges of villages.
They often watch TV or use the internet. Many of them do sports. All other forms of leisure activities are practically absent. Visibly, they do not have the opportunities, money or need for other hobbies.
They do not follow the teachings of the Church, but a slim majority are religious on their own terms. A considerable proportion do not consider themselves to be religious at all.
All this has an effect on their political interests: this group is not enthusiastic about public life at all. This is well-illustrated by the fact that they are neither left-wing nor right-wing, neither conservatives nor liberals, and they are not even radicals. The »old« parties and politicians (Fidesz, MSZP, DK) are generally unpopular in their circles, but even their preferred choice, Jobbik, only received a score of 5 out of 10. It is not surprising that this group has the second highest number of non-voters. A portion of those surveyed, however, voted for a national/ethnic minority list.
The most numerous group of Alliance of Young Democrats (Fidesz) supporters is Rural Working Class Women, although they are also the least dedicated adherents of the ruling party. They are a mostly youthful group, who live in villages and small towns. We rarely find singles among them: the overwhelming majority of Rural Working Class Women are married.
In terms of their qualifications, they have generally completed secondary education; they have high school diplomas or vocational schooling. Of all the surveyed groups, we found Rural Working Class Women to have the largest number of unskilled blue-collar workers, shop assistants and office administrators.
They earn less than the average wage, but they are not poor. »I get by with my wages« is the statement that best describes the group. A third of them live in the small houses typical of Hungarian village life.
Their preferred hobbies are watching TV, social media and video games. Those who read regularly consume mainly tabloid media and free newspapers, but they largely refrain from consulting the political press. The TV channels they prefer are main commercial channels (RTL Klub and TV2), but they also watch the right-wing Hír TV and public service broadcasters. Their favourite radio station is Class FM music radio. Their leisure time is characterized by a youthful, (lower) middle class and urban profile.
Most of them are religious, although on their own terms; they are believers but they do not follow the teachings of the Church. They self-identify very strongly as right-wingers. They are more conservative than the average, but they are in no way staunch conservatives. This is a distinctly EU-sceptical group.
Unsurprisingly, they mostly sympathize with Fidesz and they dislike the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) and the Democratic Coalition (DK).
This large voting group is made up mostly of middle aged women, typically over 45 years of age. However, there is a significant number of retired women or women receiving disability pensions among them, too. They generally live in rural areas. Most of them are married, but many are divorced or separated.
Religious Rural Women are typically employed by the state or local government, but many are unskilled workers. They have strong class identities; they consider themselves lower middle class or middle class. They have rich and multifaceted personal networks; their friends include store clerks, small business owners, nurses, administrators, small shop owners, hairdressers and mail carriers.
Their financial situation is not particularly favourable. But though their wages are low, they are nonetheless not deprived. At the same time, they are often behind on their electricity, gas, water or waste bills. They live in village houses, microdistricts or blocks of flats.
Religious Rural Women spend their free time reading books and newspapers. They often engage in activities such as making preserves. Only few of them use the internet. Their press preferences are predominantly women’s magazines. They watch public TV, but they are enthusiastic viewers of the right-wing Hír TV and the popular RTL Klub, too. Characteristically, they also consume local media.
They are a uniquely religious group. Many of them follow the teachings of the Church, but a significant portion of them are »religious on their own terms«. Much like other Fidesz supporters, they have a strong right-wing identity, but their conservatism is somewhat tamer. Their perception of Hungary’s European Union membership is varied, but they do not oppose Hungary’s EU membership.
The “Politics and Classes Photobook” displays 20 different Hungarian voting groups through 20 photos. The pictures were taken by photojournalist Ákos Stiller based on opinion polls describing the different social groups.
By clicking on the photos you can read which photo symbolizes which voting group and also find information on the lifestyle, hobbies and social background of the given group. Try the “Who is who? test” to guess who the right-wing, the socialist and the far-right voters are in Hungary!
In order to better understand the Hungarian voters in terms of their social, cultural and value-based dimensions, the Policy Solutions political research institute and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Budapest have launched a project called »Politics and Classes in Hungary«.
We used data from the opinion polls conducted by the GfK Market Research Institute to describe the social and economic background of Hungarian voters, as well as their typical lifestyles. Based on the GfK surveys we were able to differentiate 20 Hungarian voting groups. Naturally, these twenty groups do not cover Hungarian society in its entirety, but they do provide a good point of reference for a better understanding of the various »subcultures« and their political values.
We have taken photographs to illustrate typical members of these groups. The social documentary photos were taken by the award-winning photographer Ákos Stiller.
This website presents these photos and a brief description of each voting group. It details the preferences of the supporters of the rightwing, the leftwing, the green and the far right parties, in addition to undecided and non-voters. We hope that Ákos Stiller’s artistic photographs and the in-depth analysis by Policy Solutions and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung will contribute to a more nuanced picture of characteristic Hungarian social groups at the beginning of the twenty-first century.