Hungarian parliamentary election, 2018

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Hungarian parliamentary election, 2018
Hungary
← 2014 8 April 2018 Next →

All 199 seats in the National Assembly
100 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 70.22% (Increase8.49%)

  First party Second party Third party
  Viktor Orbán 2018.jpg Gabor vona 2017 (cropped).png Műegyetem rakpart október 23 294 (cropped).jpg
Leader Viktor Orbán Gábor Vona Gergely Karácsony
Party FideszKDNP Jobbik MSZPDialogue
Leader since 17 May 2003 25 November 2006 12 December 2017
Last election 133 seats, 44.87% 23 seats, 20.22% 29+1 seats
(as part of Unity)
Seats won
Seat change Steady 0 Increase 3 Decrease 10
Popular vote 2,824,206 1,092,669 682,602
Percentage 49.27% 19.06% 11.91%
Swing Increase 4.40% Decrease 1.16% Decrease 13.66% (from Unity result)a

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Ferenc Gyurcsány, Davos 2 (cropped).jpg Szél Bernadett 02.jpg Juhász Péter cropped.jpg
Leader Ferenc Gyurcsány Bernadett Szél Péter Juhász
Party DK LMP Együtt
Leader since 22 October 2011 24 March 2013 4 February 2017
Last election 4 seats
(as part of Unity)
5 seats, 5.34% 3 seats
(as part of Unity)
Seats won
Seat change Increase 5 Increase 3 Decrease 2
Popular vote 308,068 404,425 37,561
Percentage 5.37% 7.06% 0.66%
Swing Steadya Increase 1.57% Steadya

Parlamentswahl in Ungarn 2018.svg
Map showing winning parties in the single-member districts
  seats won by Fidesz (91)
  seats won by MSZPDialogue (8)
  seats won by DK (3)
  seats won by Jobbik (1)
  seats won by LMP (1)
  seats won by Együtt (1)
  seat won by an independent candidate (1)

Prime Minister before election

Viktor Orbán
Fidesz

Elected Prime Minister

Viktor Orbán
Fidesz

The 2018 Hungarian parliamentary election took place on 8 April 2018. This parliamentary election was the 8th since the 1990 first multi-party election and the 2nd since the adoption of a new Constitution of Hungary which came into force on 1 January 2012. The result was a victory for the FideszKDNP alliance, preserving its two-thirds majority, with Viktor Orbán remaining Prime Minister. Orbán and Fidesz campaigned primarily on the issues of immigration and foreign meddling, and the election was seen as a victory for right-wing populism in Europe.[1][2][3]

Background[edit]

At the previous parliamentary election, in April 2014, the incumbent government — composed of Fidesz and its satellite ally the Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP) — was able to achieve a two-thirds majority for the second consecutive time with 44.87 percent of the votes. According to their critics, this overwhelming proportion was only because of the new election law (mostly due the introduction of compensation votes also for the individual winners) which was adopted by the ruling coalition in 2011.[4] In early 2015, however, Fidesz lost its two-third majority following the 2014 Hungarian Internet tax protests and subsequent decrease in support for the government.[5] The governing party suffered defeats at two parliamentary by-elections in February and April 2015, both in Veszprém County.[6][7]

The left-wing electoral alliance Unity, which failed to win the 2014 national election after its five constituent parties gained a total of only 38 seats, broke up shortly thereafter. Its former member parties (MSZP, EgyüttPM and DK) participated in the May 2014 European Parliament election individually, while the MLP did not participate in the election at all. Due to this fragmentation of the left-wing opposition, the radical nationalist Jobbik became the second largest party in a nationwide election for the first time since its establishment.[8] The PM broke off the permanent nature of its alliance with Együtt on 9 November 2014.[9]

After a few months of crisis for Fidesz from November 2014, which was marked by internal conflicts (e.g. businessman Lajos Simicska's fall from grace within Fidesz) and corruption allegations,[10] the governing party regained much of its lost support during the European migrant crisis during the summer of 2015, when Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced the construction of a 4-metre-high (13 ft), 175-kilometre-long (109 mi) fence along its southern border with Serbia.[11] The Hungarian government also criticised the official European Union policy for not dissuading migrants from entering Europe.[12] The barrier became successful, as from 17 October 2015 onward, thousands of migrants were diverted daily to Slovenia instead.[13]

On 13 December 2015, the 26th congress of the ruling Fidesz re-elected Viktor Orbán as party leader. Orbán said in his speech that he was ready to lead the party into the forthcoming parliamentary election and to continue to serve as prime minister if Fidesz won re-election in 2018. With that statement, Orbán made clear that he did not intend to become President of Hungary in succession to János Áder during the 2017 indirect presidential election.[14]

On 2 October 2017, the elected leader of the MSZP, László Botka, announced his withdrawal, saying that he thought some of the Hungarian opposition did not care about changing government.[15]

Orbán and Fidesz's strength going into the election came into question when the party unexpectedly lost a mayoral by-election in Hódmezővásárhely, considered a Fidesz stronghold, on 25 February 2018, to an independent candidate supported by every opposition party.[16][17][18] Election observers and critics of Orbán speculated whether Hungary's opposition parties could create a similar alliance on the national level,[19][20] though the opposition parties had been unable to create a common strategy by late March 2018.[21] Orbán increased his efforts as a result of this loss.[22]

According to observers prior to the election, winning re-election was seen as more difficult for Orbán than expected.[23]

Electoral system[edit]

The 199 members of the National Assembly were to be elected by two methods; 106 would be elected in single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post voting, with the remaining 93 elected from a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation. The electoral threshold was set at 5%, although this was raised to 10% for coalitions of two parties and 15% for coalitions of three or more parties. Seats were to be allocated using the d'Hondt method.[24]

Since 2014, each of the Armenian, Bulgarian, Croatian, German, Greek, Polish, Romani, Romanian, Rusyn, Serbian, Slovakian, Slovenian, and Ukrainian ethnic minorities can win one of the 93 party lists seats if they register as a specific lists and reach a lowered quorum of of the total of party list votes.[25].

Opinion polls[edit]

The polls are from April 2014 (the last parliamentary election) up to the current date. Each coloured line specifies a political party.

Candidates[edit]

Individual candidates[edit]

The following table contains a selected list of numbers of individual candidates by county representation and party affiliation:

National lists[edit]

Under the election law, parties which ran individual candidates in at least 27 constituencies in Budapest and at least nine counties had the opportunity to set up a national list. The following table contains only the incumbent parliamentary parties' national lists (first 20 members), which were able to secure mandates:

Results[edit]

Turnout[44]
7:00 9:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 18:30 Overall
2.24% 13.17% 29.93% 42.32% 53.64% 63.21% 68.13% 70.22%
8 April 2018 Hungarian parliamentary election results
Hungarian National Assembly 2018.svg
Party Party lists FPTP Total
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats Seats ±
FideszChristian Democratic People's Party 2,824,206 49.27 42 2,636,203 47.89 91 133 Steady
Jobbik – Movement for a Better Hungary 1,092,669 19.06 25 1,276,842 23.20 1 26 8px 3
Hungarian Socialist PartyDialogue for Hungary 682,602 11.91 12 622,458 11.22 8 20 8px 10
Politics Can Be Different 404,425 7.06 7 312,731 5.64 1 8 8px 3
Democratic Coalition 308,068 5.37 6 348,178 6.28 3 9 8px 5
Momentum Movement 175,225 3.06 0 75,035 1.35 0 0 New
Hungarian Two-tailed Dog Party 99,410 1.73 0 39,763 0.72 0 0 New
Together 37,561 0.66 0 58,591 1.06 1 1 8px 2
National Self-Government of Germans in Hungary 26,477 0.46 1 1 8px 1
Hungarian Workers' Party 15,640 0.27 0 13,613 0.25 0 0 Steady
Family Party 10,640 0.19 0 9,839 0.18 0 0 Steady
Hungarian Justice and Life Party 8,713 0.15 0 6,897 0.12 0 0 Steady
Party for a Fit and Healthy Hungary 7,309 0.13 0 5,525 0.10 0 0 Steady
National Self-Government of Gypsies 5,703 0.10 0 0 Steady
Other parties (less than 0.1%) 33,173 0.58 0 43,256 0.78 0 0 8px 1
Independents 55,612 1.00 1 1 8px 1
Total 5,731,821 100.00 93 5,504,543 100.00 106 199 Steady
Valid votes 5,731,821 98.97
Blank/invalid votes 59,611 1.03
Registered voters / Turnout 8,312,173 69.73
Source: National Election Office

Reactions[edit]

Following his election defeat, Gábor Vona, chairman of Jobbik, tendered his resignation.[45][46] The entire Socialist leadership,[1] along with the DK leader, also resigned.[47]

Orbán was congratulated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel,[48] Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki,[48][49] Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš,[49] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,[50][51] European Council President Donald Tusk,[52] and British foreign minister Boris Johnson.[53] In addition, numerous hard-right and far-right European leaders, including Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders, Beatrix von Storch, Vice Chancellor of Austria Heinz-Christian Strache, Matteo Salvini, Alexander Gauland, Alice Weidel, and Nigel Farage, congratulated Orbán's election victory.[48][54][55][56][57] German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer also reacted positively at the election results.[57]

On 14 April 2018, "tens of thousands" of Hungarians protested Orbán's election victory in Budapest.[58][59][60] According to Bloomberg News, the protests illustrated the divide in Hungarian society that existed despite Orbán's victory.[61]

Analysis[edit]

According to The Washington Post, the election was "easily the most consequential since Hungary’s post-communist transition," and it "represented a victory for the European far right."[62] Orbán campaigned exclusively on his opposition to immigration and foreign meddling,[1][2][3][63][64][65] and his victory was seen as a boost for his Eurosceptic and nationalist policies, as well as for other right-wing populist governments and political parties across Europe, such as in Austria and Poland.[1][2][3][57][64] The election results strengthened Orbán's position over Hungarian politics,[66][67] giving his party the ability to change Hungary's constitution again,[68] and they were seen as a setback to the European Union along with a string of other elections throughout Europe.[69][70]

The election saw a large surge in voter turnout, one of the largest in post-communist Hungarian history,[69] which benefited Fidesz despite pre-election expectations that it would help the opposition.[2][3][71][67] Fidesz significantly outperformed its election result expectations,[72][71][73] but was reported to have lost support among younger voters.[74] There was also a geographical split in the results, with opposition parties winning the majority of seats in Budapest, while provincial towns and rural areas were predominantly won by the Fidesz coalition.[67][74] Despite this, The Washington Post described the results as "a crushing defeat for left-leaning opposition leaders."[62]

According to Zselyke Csaky of Foreign Policy, Orbán won partially because of a growing Hungarian economy, his centralization of power over the previous eight years, and "the brutally effective propaganda campaign he has waged against all enemies."[71] According to Shaun Walker of The Guardian, Orbán's opposition to immigration and "a coordinated, expensive and sophisticated sting operation" by the Hungarian government on various NGOs contributed to his victory.[75]

The election was also notable for seeing a representative of Hungary's German minority be elected for the first time since 1933.[69][76]

Electoral conduct[edit]

A preliminary report on the election by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) criticised the electoral conduct and stated that Fidesz used government resources for its election campaign.[77] A spokesman described campaigning language as "quite hostile and xenophobic".[78] The report criticised the atmosphere as limiting wide-ranging debate and found that public television broadcasts were biased towards the governing coalition. It also criticised the use of "information campaigns" funded out of public money, which it stated generated "a pervasive overlap between state and ruling party resources, undermining contestants' ability to compete on an equal basis".[78]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

^a Contested the previous election as part of the Unity alliance.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]