Elections in Hungary

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Elections in Hungary are held at two levels: general elections to elect the members of the National Assembly and local elections to elect local authorities. European Parliament elections are also held every 5 years.


The voting system between 1990 and 2010

Until 2010, elections for the 386-seat National Assembly (Országgyűlés) involved two separate ballots, two rounds, and three classes of seats: 176 members were elected in single-member districts through a two-round system, and 146 were elected through proportional representation in 20 regional multi-member constituencies (MMCs), in a non-compensatory way (parallel allocation). Finally, 64 nationwide levelling seats were allocated in such a way to correct for discrepancies between votes and seats in the different constituencies [1] (the number of multi-member district seats and levelling seats varied over time; the shares shown here were for the 2010 election). For both MMCs and levelling seats, the electoral threshold was 5% of the MMC vote. (Where two parties presented a joint list, their threshold was 10%; for three or more joined parties, the threshold was 15%.)

The second round would be held two weeks after the first, in situations where no candidate in the single-member district won and/or where the MMC result was invalidated due to low turnout.

First round

In the first round, each voter may cast

After the polls close:

Second round

In the second round, each voter may cast

After the polls close:

The voting system after 2012

Following a reform in 2012, general elections are now conducted under a one-round, two-ballot system. The total number of seats has been reduced and regional lists have been eliminated. The number of single-member seats has increased from 44.2% of the total to 53.3%. The first ballot is to choose MPs for 106 single-member districts using first-past-the-post. The remaining 93 party-list national seats are allocated based on the sum of second ballot list votes and wasted votes from the first ballot. Wasted votes are votes that were cast for unsuccessful candidates or surplus votes for winning candidates. [2] This formula for allocating national seats is a cross between a parallel mixed system and a compensatory mixed system.

The 2014 elections were the first to be held according to the new system, which included the following significant changes:

Minority lists that do not reach the 5% of all minority-list votes and do not get at least one seat, will be able to send a minority spokesman to the National Assembly, who has the right to speak but not to vote. Practically, only the German and Romani minorities are numerous enough to possibly elect MPs, while the other 13 minorities have spokesmen.

Nomination of candidates


On Hungarian elections citizens can vote for a party-list (or a minority-list), and in case of residing in Hungary (which is checked by showing the address card) citizens can also vote for a constituency candidate who will be responsible for the local community in the National Assembly.

Implementation of voting

  • at local polling stations
    • Hungarian citizens with Hungarian residence (address card) staying in Hungary
      • showing the ID card -> being able to vote for a party-list (or a minority-list)
      • showing the address card -> being able to vote for a constituency candidate
  • at embassies, consulates
    • Hungarian citizens with Hungarian residence (address card) staying abroad
      • showing the ID card -> being able to vote for a party-list (or a minority-list)
      • showing the address card -> being able to vote for a constituency candidate
  • by mail
    • Hungarian citizens without Hungarian address card
      • registering for the elections by mail or electronically (valid for 10 years or until change of residential address, validity automatically extends by 10 years in case of voting), registered citizens receive the voting sheet (only the party-list) by mail, which they fulfill and send back to the election office.


In case of the 106 constituency seats, the candidate that receives the most votes (not necessarily more than 50%) in the given constituency, obtains the constituency seat and will be responsible for that local region in the National Assembly. In the case of the 93 party-list seats, parties receive seats in proportion to the votes received out of all the party-list and minority-list votes. These numbers of seats obtained by the parties are calculated according to the D'Hondt method after checking out whether the party has reached the 5% threshold out of all the party-list votes and whether the minority has reached the 5% threshold out of all minority votes. If a minority-lists cannot obtain at least one seat then the first candidate on the minority-list will be minority spokesman, who has right to speak in the National Assembly but is not allowed to vote.

It is possible that the same person is a constituency candidate and a party-list candidate in the same time. If this person has obtained the seat in their constituency and would also obtain a seat because of the party-list that they are listed on then the next candidate in the party-list replaces the candidate that already has obtained a constituency seat. So, for example, someone being the 50th on a party-list can obtain a seat in the National Assembly even if their party has only won 30 party-list seats, if at least 20 candidates listed earlier than them win in their local constituency. (this rule has simplified as there is no county level between the constituency level and the national level)

Generally, big parties place their most important (national level) politicians only on the party-lists because these people want to deal only with national-level issues (like becoming minister). They represent citizens who voted for their parties and not the citizens of their local community, which is the responsibility of those MPs that obtain constituency seats. On the other hand, leaders of small parties usually qualify both on their party-lists and in their local constituencies because of maximizing votes; the leader of a small party might be much more famous or much more popular than an ordinary local politician of a big party.


A by-election is an election held to fill a constituency seat that has become vacant between regularly scheduled elections. In case of the vacancy of a party-list seat, the next person on the list that is still interested gets to the National Assembly. [6] This rule has not changed. Note, that by-elections from 2012 are held according to the new system, so only one round is held and no minimum turnout is needed, while the constituencies are the same until 2014.

Latest parliamentary elections

Hungarian National Assembly 2018.svg
PartyParty listsFPTPTotal
Fidesz–KDNP 2,824,55149.27422,636,20147.89911330
Jobbik – Movement for a Better Hungary 1,092,80619.06251,276,84023.20126+3
Hungarian Socialist PartyDialogue for Hungary 682,70111.9112622,45811.31820–10
Politics Can Be Different 404,4297.067312,7315.6818+3
Democratic Coalition 308,1615.386348,1766.3339+5
Momentum Movement 175,2293.06075,0331.3600New
Hungarian Two-tailed Dog Party 99,4141.73039,7630.7200New
Together 37,5620.66058,5911.0611–2
National Self-Government of Germans in Hungary 26,4770.4611+1
Hungarian Workers' Party 15,6400.27013,6130.25000
Family Party10,6410.1909,8390.18000
Hungarian Justice and Life Party 8,7120.1506,8970.13000
Party for a Fit and Healthy Hungary7,3090.1305,5230.10000
National Self-Government of Gypsies5,7030.10000
Tenni Akarás Mozgalom5,3120.0901,1770.0200New
Gypsy Party of Hungary4,1090.0703,7000.07000
Common Ground3,8940.0703,3190.0600New
Eye Party3,0480.0503,2830.0600New
National Self-Government of Croats1,7430.03000
Order Party1,7080.0301,4160.03000
Unity Party 1,4070.0203,1670.06000
Medete Party1,2920.0202,1660.0400New
National Self-Government of Slovaks1,2450.0200New
National Self-Government of Russians5390.0100New
National Authority of Roma in Hungary4280.01000
National Self-Government of Serbs2960.01000
National Self-Government of Ukrainians2700.00000
National Self-Government of Poles2100.00000
National Self-Government of Slovenes1990.00000
National Authority of Hungarian Churches1590.00000
National Self-Government of Armenians1590.00000
National Self-Government of Bulgarians1040.00000
The Motherland Party 1,9800.04000
Democratic Party1,6790.0300New
Independent Smallholders' Party 1,5800.03000
Go Hungary!1,1200.0200New
Értünk Értetek1,0330.0200New
Nation and Peace7670.0100New
Modern Hungary Movement 6170.0100New
Democratic Party for Hungary4980.0100New
JÓ ÚT MPP2260.0000New
Everyone's Homeland1800.0000New
Hungarian Democratic Union1490.0000New
Opre Roma1140.0000New
National Greens530.0000New
Oxygen Party370.0000New
Civil Movement 350.0000New
EU Alternative150.0000New
Valid votes5,732,28398.97
Invalid/blank votes59,5851.03
Registered voters/turnout8,312,17370.22
Source: National Election Office

Past elections

The previous general elections (2010) in the country resulted in an overwhelming majority win for the conservative opposition party Fidesz (which gained a 2/3 supermajority by winning the 68% of the seats (52.7% of the votes)), as well the dramatic rise of the far-right newcomers Jobbik (12.2% of seats, 16.7% of votes), who were just 2.5% short of the former ruling Hungarian Socialist Party (15.3% of seats, 19.3% of votes).

The green liberal, social progressivist Politics Can Be Different (4.1% of seats, 7.5% of votes) was also newcomer, while the liberal conservative formerly parliamentary Hungarian Democratic Forum (2.7% of votes) could not achieve the 5% threshold, and the formerly parliamentary (and also member of the coalition government before 2009) Alliance of Free Democrats was not able to run on the election because of the large decrease of popularity.

This election has changed the balance of power in the National Assembly of Hungary the most significantly since the end of the communist one-party system, as two brand new political forces could have got to the National Assembly while two formerly parliamentary parties fell out and the support of previous ruling party had significantly decreased (from 48.2% to 15.3% of seats, from 40.3% to 19.3% of votes).

Composition of the National Assembly since 1990

190201 [lower-alpha 1] 1412311
5916227361 [lower-alpha 2] 47

The numbers come from the legislature's inaugural session. Later changes may occur:

Prime ministers and their governments since 1989

Parties   MSZMP / MSZP    Fidesz    MDF    Independent

#PictureNameFromUntilPolitical PartyCabinet Assembly
Miklós Németh
23 October 198923 May 1990 MSZP Németh
35 Statue Antall Jozsef 02.jpg József Antall 23 May 199012 December 1993
MDF Antall
1 (1990)
36 Peter Boross 2014.JPG Péter Boross
( acting )
12 December 199321 December 1993 MDF Boross
Péter Boross 21 December 199315 July 1994
37 Gyula Horn (2007).jpg Gyula Horn 15 July 19948 July 1998 MSZP Horn
2 (1994)
38 Viktor Orban cropped.jpg Viktor Orbán 8 July 199827 May 2002 Fidesz Orbán I
3 (1998)
39 Medgyessy in August 2014 (cropped).JPG Péter Medgyessy 27 May 200229 September 2004
Independent Medgyessy
4 (2002)
40 Gyurcsany Ferenc-mszp-2-croped.jpg Ferenc Gyurcsány 29 September 20049 June 2006 MSZP Gyurcsány I
9 June 200614 April 2009
Gyurcsány II
5 (2006)
41 Bajnai Jerusalem.jpg Gordon Bajnai 14 April 200929 May 2010Independent Bajnai
MSZP [2]
(38) Viktor Orban cropped.jpg Viktor Orbán 29 May 20106 June 2014 Fidesz Orbán II
6 (2010)
6 June 201418 May 2018 Orbán III
7 (2014)
18 May 2018Incumbent Orbán IV
8 (2018)

1 SZDSZ left the Gyurcsány II Cabinet on 20 April 2008 and kept supporting it externally.

2 The Bajnai Cabinet was supported externally by SZDSZ.

Local elections

Elections for mayors and municipalities (Hungarian : Helyi önkormányzati választások) occur every four years in the autumn following the general elections. On the local elections, the following are elected directly by the voters:

in Budapest

in the towns/cities with county rank:

in the counties (excluding towns/cities with county rank):

The chairman of the County Council is elected by the members of the Council, unlike the Lord Mayor of Budapest or the Mayors of towns/cities with county rank, which are elected directly by people.

Latest local elections

The last but one election of local authorities took place in 2006 amidst the protests and demonstrations against the government of Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány.

Presidential elections

The President of Hungary, who has a largely ceremonial role under the country's constitution, is elected by the members of the National Assembly to serve for a term of five years (maximum two times), and has to quit their political party (if they have one) in order to be impartial and able to express the unity of the nation (so the "Political Party" column refers to their party membership, prior to becoming president).

Presidents of Hungary:

#PictureNameFromUntilPolitical partyNotes
Szuros Matyas (Heti Valasz).JPG Mátyás Szűrös 18 October 19892 May 1990 Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP)interim president

(until the formation of the first freely elected National Assembly)

1 GonczArpad.jpg Árpád Göncz 2 May 19904 August 2000 Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ)president of the republic
2 Ferenc Madl.jpg Ferenc Mádl 4 August 20005 August 2005 Non-partisan president of the republic
3 Laszlo Solyom.jpg László Sólyom 5 August 20056 August 2010 Non-partisan president of the republic
4 Pal Schmitt (2011).jpg Pál Schmitt 6 August 20102 April 2012
Fidesz president of the republic
Laszlo Kover Senate of Poland 01.JPG László Kövér 2 April 201210 May 2012 Fidesz acting president
5 Ader Janos.jpg János Áder 10 May 2012Incumbent Fidesz president of the republic

Parties   Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP)   Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ)   Fidesz

The non-partisan Ferenc Mádl had been elected by the Fidesz-FKgp-MDF government in 2000, while the also non-partisan László Sólyom (former President of the Constitutional Court) had been elected president as the opposition Fidesz's and MDF's candidate in 2005. The minor party of the coalition government (SZDSZ) did not support the superior coalition government party's (MSZP) candidate, therefore Mr. Sólyom could win as an opposition candidate.

European Parliament elections

Since the EU expansion to Romania and Bulgaria, Hungary delegates 22 members to the European Parliament based on the Nice treaty. Any EU citizens with residence in Hungary have the right to vote for a party-list. In case of the EU elections there are no constituency votes.

The latest EP election in Hungary took place on 26 May 2019, which was the fourth one at all, after the 2004 EP election, which took place on 13 June 2004, bit more than a month after the EU expansion to 10 Eastern European countries.


Summary of the 2004 and 2009 European Parliament elections
PartiesVotes 2004% 2004Seats 2004Votes 2009% 2009Seats 2009Difference
National PartyEuropean party
Fidesz - Hungarian Civic Union (Fidesz) [lower-alpha 3] EPP 1,457,75047.40121,632,30956,3614 +2
Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) PES 1,054,92134.309503,14017,374 -5
Jobbik nonedid not run--427,77314,773 +3
Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) ECR 164,0255.331153,6605.311 0
Politics Can Be Different (LMP) [lower-alpha 4] nonedid not exist--75,5222.610 -
Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) ELDR 237,9087.74262,5272.160 -2
Hungarian Communist Workers' Party (Munkáspárt)none [lower-alpha 5] 56,2211.83027,8170.960 0
Gypsy Alliance Party (MCF)nonedid not run--13,4310.460 -
Total (turnout 36,31% [lower-alpha 6] )3,075,450100.0242,896,179100.022
Source: Valasztas.hu


The Constitution of Hungary prescribes two ways to hold a referendum (Article 8 [7] ):

The Constitution imposes a number of prohibitions on matters on which a referendum can be held, including amending Constitution, budget, taxing, obligations from international agreements, military operations, etc. [7]

Required voter turnout for the referendum to be valid is 50%. The decision made by a referendum is binding on the Parliament. [7]

Past referenda

There was one referendum in People's Republic of Hungary: referendum of 1989. There were 4 questions, all 4 passed.

There were 5 referenda in modern Hungary:

See also


  1. 1 MP from the Association for Somogy
  2. Oszkár Molnár, excluded from Fidesz and elected with Jobbik support
  3. Common list with the Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP) in the 2009 election
  4. Common list with the Humanist Party (HP)
  5. The Hungarian Communist Workers' Party left the European Left in May.
  6. In the previous election in 2004 turnout was 38.5%

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  1. Nathan Schackow, 2014, "Hungary's Changing Electoral System: Reform or Repression Inside theEuropean Union? p. 4.
  2. "The New Electoral Law in Hungary: In-Depth Analysis" (PDF). Political Capital Institute. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  3. "Az új választókerületek népesség-arányai".
  4. "Under pressure, Hungary PM drops contested voting rules". Reuters. 4 January 2013.
  5. "Hungarian voter registration found unconstitutional".
  6. "10. A megüresedett mandátum betöltése". Nemzeti Választási Iroda - (in Hungarian).
  7. 1 2 3 "The Fundamental Law of Hungary" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2013-11-02.