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May 27, 2019 - Zoltán Kovács

Five takeaways from yesterday’s EP elections in Hungary

Hungary’s governing Fidesz-KDNP alliance clinched a sweeping victory on Sunday, securing 13 seats in an EP election that generated a record-breaking voter turnout of 43.37 percent, up 14.4 percent from 28.97 five years ago. Here are five takeaways from yesterday’s results.

#1: Record-breaking voter turnout 

Voter turnout in Hungary saw a sharp, 14.4 percent increase from 28.97 five years ago, and topped the previous 38.5 percent peak recorded in 2004 with an impressive 43.37 percent last night. In 2014, 2,329,304 Hungarians showed up to vote in the EP elections. Yesterday, more than 3.4 million voters went to the polls, nearly 50 percent more than at the last EP elections.

“With the high turnout, Hungary proved that it’s a European nation, a European country,” Prime Minister Orbán told supporters last night. “Our place is in Europe. Europe is our home, too, and this is why we want to change it.”

#2: Fidesz-KDNP received highest-ever support

Although in relative terms the governing Fidesz-KDNP alliance received 56.36 percent of votes in 2009, because of the high turnout figures, yesterday’s 52.33 percent, in fact, translates to some 160 thousand more votes than the highest result 10 years ago.

Let’s look at the numbers:

As PM Orbán said, “next to a record voter turnout, we reaped a record victory.” And that’s exactly what the governing parties did.

#3: Hungarians have given us a threefold mandate

According to Prime Minister Orbán, Hungarian voters have given us the strongest-ever mandate to stop immigration, protect the Europe of nations, and defend the continent’s Christian culture. Therefore, “we need [European] leaders who are proud of our 2,000 years of Christian culture,” the PM said.

“For us, Hungary comes first in Brussels, too,” Viktor Orbán said, assuring voters about the clear direction his government is taking, “and we will cooperate with anyone who wants to stop immigration.”

#4: Fidesz prevailed in each and every electoral district

Even in some landslide victories, certain constituencies may show results that don’t mirror the nation-wide outcome. 

That wasn’t the case yesterday in Hungary.

In fact, Fidesz-KDNP prevailed in each and every electoral district – even in traditionally left-leaning areas like Budapest and its agglomeration. Such unity makes it clear that Hungarians have understood the stakes at play in these EP elections and voted accordingly.

#5: Hungarian opposition faces major reorganization

In the previous European Parliamentary elections, far-right, extremist Jobbik came in second behind the governing alliance, with more than 14 percent of votes. This time, however, Jobbik’s support shrank by almost 8 percent, to 6.41. The Hungarian Socialist Party, MSZP, also saw its lowest-ever EP elections result, winning a mere 6.66 percent of total votes.

Meanwhile, controversial, former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition (DK) achieved 16.19 percent and Momentum scored 9.89 percent, enabling them to nominate 4 and 2 MEPs, respectively.

Although the remaining parties garnered only minuscule support, it’s worth noting that the green-liberal LMP was surpassed by the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog satire party.

photo credit: Facebook