Fidesz-KDNP has won the European Parliamentary elections by a wide margin.
Based on domestic votes, the ruling party alliance has confirmed their two-thirds mandate by improving on their results from last year’s parliamentary election (47.36 percent) and the previous EP election from years ago (51.48 percent).
With the present 52.33 percent list, Fidesz-KDNP would have received 144 seats instead of 133 in last year’s parliamentary election. The success of runner up Democratic Coalition (in second place with 16.19 percent) has been made possible by the collapse of the MSZP, with the number of their votes combined remaining below that of last April.
- Fidesz-KDNP’s top placement is a historic victory for several reasons. The number of votes received by the ruling party on Sunday is the highest in the history of European Parliamentary elections in Hungary. 200,000 more people voted this time than the 1,632,309 mobilised during the highly successful 2009 election (1,795,013 excluding postal and beyond-the-border votes). The 52.33 percent vote ratio means the second top result for the right-wing party (this ratio may increase further when votes are counted).
- Fidesz-KDNP continues to be the only people’s party in Hungary. The government party ranked first among all social groups including the youngest. In the 18-39 age group, the party alliance scored one-third of the votes, while Momentum came second by earning 24 percent, and DK a surprise 9 percent. Jobbik, so far considered strong among the youngest age group, has reached 8 percent only in comparison. The Fidesz-KDNP list has also proved to be the most popular in social groups defined by education level. The government parties’ list scored 57 percent among voters with basic education, 63 percent among skilled workers, 52 percent among high school graduates, and 44 percent among college graduates. First runner up Democratic Coalition (DK) was typically popular among the elderly (24.9 percent) and college graduates (23.7 percent), while Momentum was supported by the majority of college graduates (15.7 percent) and the youngest age group (24.1 percent). Jobbik and MSZP-P, with much lower results than expected, achieved a higher-than-average result among those with basic education, just exceeding the 10-percent threshold in the segments (10.3 and 10.4 percent, respectively).
- Based on the election results, Hungary is in the mood for change of opposition rather than change of government. It is not possible to talk about winners in the opposition, only parties that did better than others. Absolute losers of the election are the MSZP-Dialogue alliance, Jobbik and the LMP. This is the first time since the change of regime, that the MSZP has scored a single-digit result; the 6.66 percent vote ratio constitutes a historic failure for the party. Jobbik’s failure is possibly even worse, with last year’s parliamentary election support levels dropping to a third, from 19.8 to 6.4 percent. The decline is even more pronounced in terms of absolute numbers, as in 2018 Jobbik still had more than one million voters, but this year they barely received 200,000 votes. The LMP has been shocked to the core as well, with their two percent result being outperformed even by the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party and Our Hungary. It is indicative of a general dissatisfaction with the opposition that even anti-government voters preferred the more radical opposition parties, which is why the Democratic Coalition and Momentum proved more popular than before. At the same time, DK and Momentum’s better results in the opposition “in-house competition” are virtual and relative as they would have hardly succeeded in maintaining this popularity in case of a prime ministerial election, and because government parties were able to bring more voters to the urns than all opposition parties combined. It is expected that including postal votes, government parties would have received half a million more votes than all the mandated opposition parties together.
- Yesterday’s election could mean significant changes for the municipal elections as well. With the Democratic Coalition becoming the strongest opposition party in all counties and the capital city, Ferenc Gyurcsány is going to be the opposition’s new leader, and earlier agreements may be renegotiated. An important factor before the autumn elections is that Fidesz-KDNP have became the two strongest parties in Budapest as well, with their results in the capital city exceeding 40 percent. This vote ratio is consistent with a September 2009 survey of Budapest by Nézőpont Intézet, which also revealed that István Tarlós’ popularity is 11 percentage points higher than even that of the government parties. Tarlós’ favorable position is further reinforced by the fact that Gergely Karácsony has been involved in one scandalous affair after the other, and is increasingly preceived as completely unfit to lead the capital city. It is a bad omen for the opposition that even in the historically left-wing 13th district government parties managed to achieve more than 30 percent, while no opposition party in the capital has reached 20 percent. The Democratic Coalition has achieved 19.79, Momentum 17.35, MSZP-P 9.04 percent, and the rest of the parties fell below the 5 percent margin.
- Opposition agreements in rural towns may also be put back on the negotiating table in the near future. It is bad news for Péter Márki-Zay that in towns with county rights, Fidesz-KDNP achieved the best result (48.48 percent) in Hódmezővásárhely, where he is mayor. This result is also in line with a local opinion poll conducted by Nézőpont Intézet in March 2019, which showed it was possible to defeat Márki-Zay. Fidesz-KDNP has received over 40 percent in every town with county rights. The strengthening of the Democratic Coalition and Jobbik’s failure may transform current opposition deals. In Eger, Ádám Mirkóczki has been nominated as a joint opposition mayoral candidate, while his party achieved 7.83 percent only at local level. In addition to Fidesz, DK (17.76 percent) and Momentum (10.97 percent) have also outperformed Jobbik. DK has become the strongest (25.58 percent) in the 6th district in the capital city, and Nagykanizsa in the countryside (23.62 percent). The Momentum Movement has been strong mainly in Budapest, reaching 20 percent in the 1st, 2nd, 7th, 9th, 12th and 13th districts. In the same category Jobbik has achieved over 10 percent results in Miskolc only (12.09 percent). The MSZP’s popularity has exceeded 10 percent only in traditionally left-winger Szeged and Salgótarján, and the 12th, 14th, 18th and 19th districts of Budapest but has not reached over 20 percent in any one place.