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.
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 45.56% 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. 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.
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.
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.
Main article: List of Hungarian by-elections
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. 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.
Main article: 2022 Hungarian parliamentary election
|United for Hungary||1,947,331||34.44||38||1,983,708||36.90||19||57||–8|
|Our Homeland Movement||332,487||5.88||6||307,064||5.71||0||6||New|
|Hungarian Two Tailed Dog Party||185,052||3.27||0||126,648||2.36||0||0||±0|
|Party of Normal Life||39,720||0.70||0||31,495||0.59||0||0||New|
|Leftist Alliance (ISZOMM–MMP)||8,678||0.16||0||0||New|
|True Democratic Party||989||0.02||0||0||New|
|Our Party - IMA||326||0.01||0||0||New|
|Party of Greens||208||0.00||0||0||New|
|Hungarian Liberal Party||152||0.00||0||0||±0|
|National Self-Government of Germans||24,630||0.44||1||1||±0|
|National Self-Government of Croats||1,760||0.03||0||0||±0|
|National Self-Government of Slovaks||1,208||0.02||0||0||±0|
|National Self-Government of Rusyns||645||0.01||0||0||±0|
|National Self-Government of Romanians||526||0.01||0||0||±0|
|National Self-Government of Serbs||418||0.01||0||0||±0|
|National Self-Government of Ukrainians||396||0.01||0||0||±0|
|National Self-Government of Poles||281||0.00||0||0||±0|
|National Self-Government of Greeks||232||0.00||0||0||±0|
|National Self-Government of Slovenes||219||0.00||0||0||±0|
|National Self-Government of Armenians||163||0.00||0||0||±0|
|National Self-Government of Bulgarians||157||0.00||0||0||±0|
|Source: National Electoral Commission|
|County||Fidesz-KDNP||United for Hungary||Our Homeland||MKKP||MM||NÉP||Minority lists|
|Total in Hungary||52.45||36.15||6.15||3.42||1.10||0.73|
The numbers come from the legislature's inaugural session. Later changes may occur:
Parties MSZMP / MSZP Fidesz MDF Independent
|23 October 1989||23 May 1990||MSZP||Németh
|35||József Antall||23 May 1990||12 December 1993
|12 December 1993||21 December 1993||MDF||Boross|
|Péter Boross||21 December 1993||15 July 1994|
|37||Gyula Horn||15 July 1994||8 July 1998||MSZP||Horn
|38||Viktor Orbán||8 July 1998||27 May 2002||Fidesz||Orbán I
|39||Péter Medgyessy||27 May 2002||29 September 2004
|40||Ferenc Gyurcsány||29 September 2004||9 June 2006||MSZP||Gyurcsány I|
|9 June 2006||14 April 2009
|41||Gordon Bajnai||14 April 2009||29 May 2010||Independent||Bajnai|
|(38)||Viktor Orbán||29 May 2010||6 June 2014||Fidesz||Orbán II
|6 June 2014||18 May 2018||Orbán III
|18 May 2018||Incumbent||Orbán IV
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.
Elections for mayors and municipalities (Hungarian: Helyi önkormányzati választások) occur every five years (formerly every four years in the autumn following the general elections). On the local elections, the following are elected directly by the voters:
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.
Main article: 2019 Hungarian local 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.
|Parties||Votes 2004||% 2004||Seats 2004||Votes 2009||% 2009||Seats 2009||Difference|
|National Party||European party|
|Fidesz - Hungarian Civic Union (Fidesz)[b]||EPP||1,457,750||47.40||12||1,632,309||56,36||14||+2|
|Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP)||PES||1,054,921||34.30||9||503,140||17,37||4||-5|
|Jobbik||none||did not run||-||-||427,773||14,77||3||+3|
|Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF)||ECR||164,025||5.33||1||153,660||5.31||1||0|
|Politics Can Be Different (LMP)[c]||none||did not exist||-||-||75,522||2.61||0||-|
|Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ)||ELDR||237,908||7.74||2||62,527||2.16||0||-2|
|Hungarian Communist Workers' Party (Munkáspárt)||none[d]||56,221||1.83||0||27,817||0.96||0||0|
|Gypsy Alliance Party (MCF)||none||did not run||-||-||13,431||0.46||0||-|
|Total (turnout 36,31%[e])||3,075,450||100.0||24||2,896,179||100.0||22|
The Constitution of Hungary prescribes two ways to hold a referendum (Article 8):
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.
Required voter turnout for the referendum to be valid is 50%. The decision made by a referendum is binding on the Parliament.
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:
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:
|Mátyás Szűrös||18 October 1989||2 May 1990||Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP)||interim president
(until the formation of the first freely elected National Assembly)
|1||Árpád Göncz||2 May 1990||4 August 2000||Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ)||president of the republic|
|2||Ferenc Mádl||4 August 2000||5 August 2005||Non-partisan||president of the republic|
|3||László Sólyom||5 August 2005||6 August 2010||Non-partisan||president of the republic|
|4||Pál Schmitt||6 August 2010||2 April 2012
|Fidesz||president of the republic|
|László Kövér||2 April 2012||10 May 2012||Fidesz||acting president|
|5||János Áder||10 May 2012||Incumbent||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.
Main article: Hungarian parliamentary election, 2010
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).
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 (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.
In the first round, each voter may cast
After the polls close:
In the second round, each voter may cast
After the polls close: