2019 Budapest mayoral election

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2019 Budapest mayoral election
Flag of Budapest (2011-).svg
  2014 13 October 20192024 
  Muegyetem rakpart oktober 23 294 (cropped).jpg TarlosIstvan (crop).jpg
Candidate Gergely Karácsony István Tarlós
Party PM Independent
Alliance MomentumDKMSZPPMLMP Fidesz–KDNP

Mayor before election

István Tarlós

Elected Mayor

Gergely Karácsony

The 2019 Budapest mayoral election was held on 13 October 2019 to elect the Mayor of Budapest (főpolgármester). On the same day, local elections were also held throughout Hungary, including the districts of Budapest which will determine the composition of the General Assembly. The election is run using a first-past-the-post voting system. The winner of the election will serve for a term of 5 years.



On 10 October 2018, István Tarlós announced that he will run for a third term as Mayor, after negotiating about his future role with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. [1] [2] Also in October, independent publicist Róbert Puzsér declared his run for the mayorship, and published his manifesto Walking Budapest. [3]

Opposition primary

In December 2018, the Hungarian Socialist Party reached an agreement with independent candidate Róbert Puzsér about a two-round primary. According to that, there would be a first round (in February), where the socialists and their allies would participate, and a second round (in June) where the "candidate of the centre" would join them. [4]

The first round was conducted between 28 January and 3 February. Two candidates participated: Csaba Horváth (MSZP group leader in the General Assembly) and Gergely Karácsony (Dialogue, mayor of Zugló).

Budapest mayoral primary - first round [5]
PM Gergely Karácsony 27 598 80.66%
MSZP Csaba Horváth 6 53519.1%
Total votes34 214 100.0%

After the first round, a second round between Karácsony and Puzsér was planned in July. Opposition parties Politics Can Be Different and Jobbik endorsed Puzsér, with the condition that he takes part in the primary. Multiple forums and debates were held between the two, but on 8 April Puzsér announced he would not take part, citing a recent agreement about district mayoral candidates which did not include the parties supporting him.

The European Parliament election caused a major change in the balance of power, as the Socialists-Dialogue alliance gained only 6% of the votes, with the Democratic Coalition taking 16% and new party Momentum (M) taking almost 10%. This prompted Momentum to announce their candidate, entrepreneur Gábor Kerpel-Fronius (hu) on 3 June, [6] followed by the Democratic Coalition on 6 June, their candidate being television host Olga Kálmán. [7]

The second round was conducted between 20 and 26 June with online and in-person voting. On 23 June a televised debate was held between the three candidates on the channel ATV. [8]

Budapest mayoral primary - second round [9] [10]
PM Gergely Karácsony 33 356 48.9%
DK Olga Kálmán 25 09336.8%
Momentum Gábor Kerpel-Fronius9 79214.3%
Total votes68 363 100.0%

According to the organizers' self-imposed criteria, the primary was valid, as more than 50 000 valid votes were cast.

Opinion polling

Sample size
Tarlós Karácsony Kálmán Kerpel-Fronius Puzsér Berki Thürmer SermerNeitherDon't know
Medián 2-4 Oct 2019100048%47%5%
Iránytű 11-21 Sep 2019100037%35%4%1%8%14%
Nézőpont 11-21 Sep 2019100053%40%7%0%-
Publicus / Népszava 9–14 Sep 2019100037%34%4%0%25%
Nézőpont 4–14 Sep 2019100050%42%7%1%
Republikon 5-12 Sep 201980035%34%5%1%-25%
Závecz 2–5 Sep 201980049%45%4%1%1%
Nézőpont 23–27 Aug 201950051%43%6%
Publicus / Népszava 11–14 Jun 201980027%26%5%1%5%32%


2019 Budapest mayoral election [11]
MomentumDKMSZPPMLMP Gergely Karácsony 353,593 50.86% N/A
Fidesz–KDNP István Tarlós 306,60844.10%-4.96%
Independent Róbert Puzsér 30,9724.46%N/A
Independent Krisztián Berki4,0450.58%N/A
Total votes695,218 100.0%
MomentumDKMSZPPMLMP gain from Fidesz–KDNP Swing

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  1. Tarlós újra elindul a főpolgármesterségért, 24.hu (in Hungarian)
  2. Mayor to seek third term, budapesttimes.hu
  3. Puzsér Róbert bejelentette: elindul Tarlós ellen a főpolgármesteri címért, 444.hu (in Hungarian)
  4. Puzsér kiegyezett Karácsonyékkal: két előválasztás lesz, index.hu (in Hungarian)
  5. Karácsony Gergely nyerte a budapesti előválasztás első fordulóját – percről percre a Mércén, merce.hu (in Hungarian)
  6. Hivatalos: Kerpel-Fronius Gábor a Momentum jelöltje az előválasztáson, hvg.hu (in Hungarian)
  7. Kálmán Olga a DK főpolgármester-jelöltje Archived 6 June 2019 at the Wayback Machine , 444.hu (in Hungarian)
  8. Előválasztási vita 2019 - Összecsapott Kálmán Olga, Karácsony Gergely és Kerpel-Fronius Gábor, YouTube, ATV Magyarország (in Hungarian)
  9. Marianna, Biró (26 June 2019). "Karácsony nyerte az előválasztást". index.hu (in Hungarian). Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  10. Karácsony wins opposition primary for Budapest mayor
  11. https://www.valasztas.hu/d4/onk19/szavossz/onkval/hu/foejelolt.html