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Hungary

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Elections in Hungary are held at two levels: general elections to elect the 386 members of the National Assembly, and local elections to elect local authorities.

Contents

General elections

The National Assembly (Országgyűlés) has 386 members, elected for a four-year term. 176 members are elected in single-seat constituencies, 152 by proportional representation in multi-seat constituencies and there are 58 so-called compensation seats. For the latter two, an election threshold of 5% is in effect.

The general elections in Hungary take place in two rounds, the second round taking place two weeks after the first round.

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First round

In the first round, each voter may cast

  • one vote for one candidate running for the seat in the single-seat constituency of his/her residence;
  • one vote for a party list established in the multi-seat constituency of his/her residence.

After the polls close:

  • The result in single-seat constituencies where voter turnout was below 50% is declared invalid, and all candidates for the first round enter the second round.
  • Any single-seat constituency where turnout was over 50% and one candidate received over 50% of the votes is won by that candidate, and no second round takes place.
  • In all remaining single-seat constituencies (i.e., where turnout exceeded 50% but no candidate received over 50% of votes), the candidates who finished the first three plus any more candidates having received at least 15% of votes enter the second round (a kind of runoff voting).
  • The result for multi-seat constituencies where the turnout was over 50% is produced. (If this means all multi-seat constituencies, the parties passing the election threshold can already be determined together with the distribution of the seats from the multi-seat constituencies.)

Second round

In the second round, each voter may cast

  • one vote for one candidate still standing in the single-seat constituency (if the seat wasn't won in the first round);
  • one vote for a party list in the multi-seat constituency (if the first round was invalid due to insufficient turnout).

After the polls close:

  • Any seats in single-seat constituencies where turnout was below 25%, or where the first two candidates received an equal number of votes, will remain vacant.
  • All other single-seat constituencies will be won by the candidate who received the most votes.
  • The result of multi-seat constituencies where turnout was below 25% is declared invalid, and the seats from that constituency are added to the compensation seats.
  • The parties passing the threshold are identified based on multi-seat constituencies with a valid result. Seats from these constituencies are distributed.
  • Parties having passed the threshold are eligible for the compensation seats; these are distributed based on
    • the sum of votes remaining in the multi-seat constituencies after the distribution of the seats, plus
    • the sum of votes cast for losing candidates of each party in the first valid round of each single-seat constituency. (Since the first valid round is taken into account, votes are still counted for a candidate who is eliminated in the first round, or who steps down after a valid first round in favour of another candidate with more chances to win the second round.)

In Hungary there are two dominant political parties, which makes it difficult for anybody to achieve electoral success under the banner of any other party.

Latest general elections

e • d  Summary of the 9 April and 23 April 2006 National Assembly (Országgyűlés) elections
Parties List Votes % Constituencies
1st round
% Constituencies
2nd round
% Seats
Hungarian Socialist Party (Magyar Szocialista Párt, MSZP) 2,336,705 43.21 2,175,316 40.26 1,510,360 46.62 186
Alliance of Free Democrats (Szabad Demokraták Szövetsége, SZDSZ) 351,612 6.50 340,750 6.31 64,501 1.99 18
Joint candidates MSZP-SZDSZ 154,616 2.86 72,802 2.25 6
Fidesz-KDNP 2,272,979 42.03 2,269,244 41.96 1,511,426 46.65 164
Hungarian Democratic Forum (Magyar Demokrata Fórum, MDF) 272,831 5.04 238,570 4.41 15,973 0.50 11
Joint candidates Fidesz/KNDP-MDF 34,109 0.63 33,029 1.02 0
Joint candidates MDF and other parties 14,838 0.27 3,640 0.11 0
MIÉP-Jobbik Third Way Alliance of Parties (MIÉP-Jobbik a Harmadik Út pártszövetség) 119,007 2.20 92,802 1.70 231 0.01 0
Hungarian Communist Workers' Party (Magyar Kommunista Munkáspárt) 21,955 0.41 16,379 0.30 0
Centre Party (Centrum Összefogás Magyarországért) 17,431 0.32 14,126 0.26 0
Association for Somogy (Somogyért) 9,457 0.17 13,329 0.43 1
Total 5,408,050 100.0 5,403,691 100.0 3,239,752 100.0 386
Source: Valasztas.hu

Earlier general elections

Elections hun.png


Local elections

Latest local elections

The last election of local authorities took place on October 1, 2006. They took place amidst a period of protests and demonstrations against the government of Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány. In many cities, demonstrators urged people not to vote for the MSZP candidate at the elections, and Fidesz made heavy use of the fact that Gyurcsány had admitted lying in its campaign leaflets and phone calls.

In response, Gyurcsány insisted in a speech he held in Szeged on September 15[1] that the local elections would have no bearing on his party staying in power, and "those who don't want a war between the government and the city should know whom to vote for".

Before the elections, the polling firm Szonda Ipsos had predicted a victory for candidates of the main opposition party Fidesz – 34% of the people asked said they would vote for Fidesz, while only 22% voiced a preference for the MSZP. The opinion poll showed Fidesz with a clear lead in towns having fewer than 10,000 inhabitants (Fidesz 38%, MSZP 19%) and a narrow lead in larger towns (Fidesz 30%, MSZP 26%), while the two parties ran equal at 27% each in Budapest.[2]

The outcome of the elections

Turnout in the local elections was 53.1%, which was two points higher than in 2002 [3] and the highest for municipal elections since the return to democracy in 1990.[4]

Interpretation of the results is complicated by the fact that a number of different offices are at stake in municipal elections. Hungarian voters elect their mayors; the county and Budapest assemblies; and the municipal corporations of their local settlement or Budapest district. (Moreover, the latter of those three elections, at least in mid- and large-sized settlements and the Budapest districts, take place under a mixed electoral system, which means votes are cast both for an individual candidate and a party list.) [5]

The results for each were as follows:[6]

Elections Votes for governing parties Votes for opposition parties Voters for others
Mayoral elections 1,150,324
27.06%
1,289,554
30.33%
1,811,185
42.61%
Elections for county and Budapest assemblies 1 286 625
37.73%
1 794 292
52.62%
329 219
9.65%
Elections for municipal corporations of local settlement or Budapest district 1 637 549
11.19%
2 592 926
17.72%
10 401 173
71.09%

Regarding the mayoral elections, these are the results of the cities with county rights:[7]

  • Fidesz: 15 mayoralties (+10 compared with 2002)
  • MSZP: 7 (-6)
  • SZDSZ: 0 (-3)
  • Other: 1 (no ch.)

In Budapest, Gábor Demszky was re-elected as city mayor as SZDSZ/MSZP candidate. These are the results of the mayoral races for the individual Budapest districts:[8]

  • Fidesz: 8 mayoralties (+4 compared with 2002)
  • MSZP: 11 (-4)
  • SZDSZ: 2 (no ch.)
  • Other: 2 (no ch.)

The polling firm Median opined that the scandal concerning Gyurcsany's admission of having lied did not affect the outcome of the elections as much as it was expected to, as support for MSZP had already hit an all-time low by early September: 33% of the voters polled had expressed their support for Gyurcsány in September, as compared to 35% in August and 38% in July.[9]

See also

References

  1. ^ (Hungarian) Magyar Rádió
  2. ^ MTI Report, September 22, 2006. (Hungarian) MTI – Hungarian News Agency Corp
  3. ^ National Election Office
  4. ^ Washington Post
  5. ^ National Election Office
  6. ^ (Hungarian) National Election Office
  7. ^ (Hungarian) VoksCentrum
  8. ^ (Hungarian) VoksCentrum
  9. ^ (Hungarian) FigyelőNet

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