2018 Hungarian parliamentary election

The 2018 Hungarian parliamentary election took place on 8 April 2018. This parliamentary election was the eighth since the 1990 first multi-party election and the second since the adoption of a new Constitution of Hungary which came into force on 1 January 2012. The result was a victory for the FideszKDNP alliance, preserving its two-thirds majority, with Viktor Orbán remaining Prime Minister. Orbán and Fidesz campaigned primarily on the issues of immigration and foreign meddling, and the election was seen as a victory for right-wing populism in Europe.[1][2][3]

2018 Hungarian parliamentary election

 2014 8 April 2018 2022 

All 199 seats in the National Assembly
100 seats needed for a majority
Turnout70.22% ( 8.49%)
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Viktor Orbán Gábor Vona Gergely Karácsony
Party Fidesz–KDNP Jobbik MSZPDialogue
Leader since 17 May 2003 25 November 2006 12 December 2017[lower-alpha 1]
Last election 133 seats, 44.87% 23 seats, 20.22% 29+1 seats
(as part of Unity)
Seats won Fidesz 117, KDNP 16 MSZP 17, Dialogue 3
Seat change 0 3 10
Constituency vote 2,636,201 1,276,840 622,458
 % 47.89% 23.20% 11.31%
Party vote 2,824,551 1,092,806 682,701
 % and swing 49.27% 4.40 pp 19.06% 1.16 pp 11.91% 13.66 pp (from Unity result)[lower-alpha 2]

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
Leader Ferenc Gyurcsány Bernadett Szél Péter Juhász
Party DK LMP Együtt
Leader since 22 October 2011 24 March 2013 4 February 2017
Last election 4 seats
(as part of Unity)
5 seats, 5.34% 3 seats
(as part of Unity)
Seats won
Seat change 5 3 2
Constituency vote 348,176 312,731 58,591
 % 6.33% 5.68% 1.06%
Party vote 308,161 404,429 37,562
 % and swing 5.38% [lower-alpha 2] 7.06% 1.72 pp 0.66% [lower-alpha 2]

Results of the election. A darker shade indicates a higher vote share. Proportional list results are displayed in the top left.

Prime Minister before election

Viktor Orbán

Elected Prime Minister

Viktor Orbán


At the previous parliamentary election, in April 2014, the incumbent government—composed of Fidesz and its satellite ally the Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP)—was able to achieve a two-thirds majority for the second consecutive time with 44.87 percent of the votes. According to their critics, this overwhelming proportion was only because of the new election law (mostly due to the introduction of compensation votes also for the individual winners) which was adopted by the ruling coalition in 2011.[4] In early 2015, however, Fidesz lost its two-thirds majority following the 2014 Hungarian Internet tax protests and subsequent decrease in support for the government.[5] The governing party suffered defeats at two parliamentary by-elections in February and April 2015, both in Veszprém County.[6][7]

The left-wing electoral alliance Unity, which failed to win the 2014 national election after its five constituent parties gained a total of only 38 seats, broke up shortly thereafter. Its former member parties (MSZP, EgyüttPM and DK) participated in the May 2014 European Parliament election individually, while the MLP did not participate in the election at all. Due to this fragmentation of the left-wing opposition, the radical nationalist Jobbik became the second largest party in a nationwide election for the first time since its establishment.[8] The PM broke off the permanent nature of its alliance with Együtt on 9 November 2014.[9]

After a few months of crisis for Fidesz from November 2014, which was marked by internal conflicts (e.g. businessman Lajos Simicska's fall from grace within Fidesz)[10] and corruption allegations,[11] the governing party regained much of its lost support during the European migrant crisis during the summer of 2015, when Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced the construction of a 4-metre-high (13 ft), 175-kilometre-long (109 mi) fence along its southern border with Serbia.[12] The Hungarian government also criticised the official European Union policy for not dissuading migrants from entering Europe.[13] The barrier became successful, as from 17 October 2015 onward, thousands of migrants were diverted daily to Slovenia instead.[14]

On 13 December 2015, the 26th congress of the ruling Fidesz re-elected Viktor Orbán as party leader. Orbán said in his speech that he was ready to lead the party into the forthcoming parliamentary election and to continue to serve as prime minister if Fidesz won re-election in 2018. With that statement, Orbán made clear that he did not intend to become President of Hungary in succession to János Áder during the 2017 indirect presidential election.[15]

On 2 October 2017, the elected leader of the MSZP, László Botka, announced his withdrawal, saying that he thought some of the Hungarian opposition did not care about changing government.[16]

Orbán and Fidesz's strength going into the election came into question when the party unexpectedly lost a mayoral by-election in Hódmezővásárhely, considered a Fidesz stronghold, on 25 February 2018, to an independent candidate supported by every opposition party.[17][18][19] Election observers and critics of Orbán speculated whether Hungary's opposition parties could create a similar alliance on the national level,[20][21] though the opposition parties had been unable to create a common strategy by late March 2018.[22] Orbán increased his efforts as a result of this loss.[23]

According to observers prior to the election, winning re-election was seen as more difficult for Orbán than expected.[24]

Electoral system

The 199 members of the National Assembly were to be elected by two methods; 106 would be elected in single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post voting, with the remaining 93 elected from a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation. The electoral threshold was set at 5%, although this was raised to 10% for coalitions of two parties and 15% for coalitions of three or more parties. Seats were to be allocated using the d'Hondt method.[25]

Since 2014, each of the Armenian, Bulgarian, Croatian, German, Greek, Polish, Romani, Romanian, Rusyn, Serbian, Slovakian, Slovenian, and Ukrainian ethnic minorities can win one of the 93 party lists seats if they register as a specific lists and reach a lowered quorum of of the total of party list votes.[26]

Opinion polls

The polls are from April 2014 (the last parliamentary election) up to the current date. Each coloured line specifies a political party.


Individual candidates

The following table contains a selected list of numbers of individual candidates by county representation and party affiliation:

National lists

Under the election law, parties which ran individual candidates in at least 27 constituencies in Budapest and at least nine counties had the opportunity to set up a national list. The following table contains only the incumbent parliamentary parties' national lists (first 20 members), which were able to secure mandates:


Party Party lists FPTP Total
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats Seats ±
Jobbik – Movement for a Better Hungary1,092,80619.06251,276,84023.20126+3
Hungarian Socialist PartyDialogue for Hungary682,70111.9112622,45811.31820–10
Politics Can Be Different404,4297.067312,7315.6818+3
Democratic Coalition308,1615.386348,1766.3339+5
Momentum Movement175,2293.06075,0331.3600New
Hungarian Two Tailed Dog Party99,4141.73039,7630.7200New
National Self-Government of Germans in Hungary26,4770.4611+1
Hungarian Workers' Party15,6400.27013,6130.25000
Family Party10,6410.1909,8390.18000
Hungarian Justice and Life Party8,7120.1506,8970.13000
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
For Hungary's Poor People3,0480.0503,2830.0600New
We need Cooperation Party2,7220.0502,6590.0500New
National Self-Government of Croats1,7430.03000
Order Party1,7080.0301,4160.03000
Unity Party1,4070.0203,1670.06000
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 Party1,9800.04000
Democratic Party1,6790.0300New
Independent Smallholders' Party1,5800.03000
Go Hungary!1,1200.0200New
Értünk Értetek1,0330.0200New
Nation and Peace7670.0100New
Modern Hungary Movement6170.0100New
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 Movement350.0000New
EU Alternative150.0000New
Valid votes5,732,28398.97
Invalid/blank votes59,5851.03
Registered voters/turnout8,312,17370.22
Source: National Election Office

Party list results by county and in the diaspora

County[46][47] Fidesz-KDNP Jobbik MSZP-Dialogue LMP DK Momentum Together Others
Bács-Kiskun 53.97 19.78 9.37 6.34 4.07 2.65 0.34 3.47
Baranya 43.68 19.37 12.08 8.16 6.34 2.72 0.63 7.00
Békés 48.01 23.58 11.28 5.98 4.67 2.37 0.42 3.70
Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén 45.62 26.52 12.75 4.88 4.62 1.77 0.31 3.52
Budapest 38.15 12.93 18.06 10.84 8.65 5.75 1.65 3.97
Csongrád 45.54 19.68 15.21 7.82 4.11 3.25 0.62 3.75
Fejér 49.10 21.78 10.02 6.63 5.49 3.03 0.45 3.48
Győr-Moson-Sopron 54.18 17.43 9.65 7.19 4.68 3.06 0.37 3.42
Hajdú-Bihar 51.23 21.30 10.73 6.11 4.25 2.70 0.48 3.19
Heves 47.33 27.53 10.04 5.07 4.96 2.03 0.31 2.70
Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok 48.49 26.39 10.55 5.07 4.23 1.96 0.32 2.97
Komárom-Esztergom 44.52 23.02 11.31 7.31 6.45 2.66 0.39 4.31
Nógrád 50.78 21.28 12.24 5.03 4.75 1.51 0.32 4.06
Pest 46.21 19.09 11.32 8.92 5.80 3.55 0.80 4.28
Somogy 49.92 23.61 10.37 5.28 5.49 2.12 0.43 2.80
Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg 54.16 22.41 11.15 3.80 3.82 1.67 0.30 2.70
Tolna 53.64 17.66 10.09 7.15 4.59 2.08 0.31 4.46
Vas 57.77 15.02 11.14 6.31 3.93 2.48 0.38 2.98
Veszprém 50.80 20.64 11.01 6.16 4.77 2.52 0.43 3.64
Zala 52.45 20.76 9.89 6.29 5.20 2.48 0.36 2.58
Total in Hungary 47.36 19.81 12.37 7.31 5.58 3.16 0.68 3.74
Diaspora 96.24 0.91 0.55 0.93 0.30 0.45 0.14 0.49
Total 49.27 19.06 11.91 7.06 5.38 3.06 0.66 3.61


Following his election defeat, Gábor Vona, chairman of Jobbik, tendered his resignation.[48][49] The entire Socialist leadership[1] also resigned.[50]

Orbán was congratulated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel,[51] Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki,[51][52] Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš,[52] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,[53][54] European Council President Donald Tusk,[55] British foreign minister Boris Johnson[56] and Former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper.[57] In addition, numerous hard-right and far-right European leaders, including Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders, Beatrix von Storch, Vice Chancellor of Austria Heinz-Christian Strache, Matteo Salvini, Alexander Gauland, Alice Weidel, and Nigel Farage, congratulated Orbán's election victory.[51][58][59][60][61] German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer also reacted positively at the election results.[61] U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated Orbán's election victory in a June 2018 phone conversation.[62]

On 14 April 2018, "tens of thousands" of Hungarians protested Orbán's election victory in Budapest.[63][64][65] According to Bloomberg News, the protests illustrated the divide in Hungarian society that existed despite Orbán's victory.[66] Another large protest occurred the following week.[67][68][69]


According to The Washington Post the election was "easily the most consequential since Hungary’s post-communist transition",and it "represented a victory for the European far right".[70] Orbán campaigned exclusively on his opposition to immigration and foreign meddling[1][2][3][71][72][73] and his victory was seen as a boost for his Eurosceptic and nationalist policies as well as for other right-wing populist governments and political parties across Europe, such as in Austria and Poland.[1][2][3][61][72] The election results strengthened Orbán's position over Hungarian politics,[74][75] giving his party the ability to change Hungary's constitution again,[76] and they were seen as a setback to the European Union along with a string of other elections throughout Europe.[77][78]

The election saw a large surge in voter turnout, one of the largest in post-communist Hungarian history,[77] which benefited Fidesz despite pre-election expectations that it would help the opposition.[2][3][75][79] Fidesz significantly outperformed its election result expectations,[79][80][81] but was reported to have lost support among younger voters.[82] There was also a geographical split in the results, with opposition parties winning the majority of seats in Budapest, while provincial towns and rural areas were predominantly won by the Fidesz coalition.[75][82] Despite this, The Washington Post described the results as "a crushing defeat for left-leaning opposition leaders".[70]

According to Zselyke Csaky of Foreign Policy, Orbán won partially because of a growing Hungarian economy, his centralization of power over the previous eight years, and "the brutally effective propaganda campaign he has waged against all enemies".[79] According to Shaun Walker of The Guardian, Orbán's opposition to immigration and "a coordinated, expensive and sophisticated sting operation" by the Hungarian government on various NGOs contributed to his victory.[83]

The election was also notable for seeing a representative of Hungary's German minority be elected for the first time since 1933.[77][84]

Electoral conduct

A preliminary report on the election by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) criticised the electoral conduct and stated that Fidesz used government resources for its election campaign.[85] A spokesman described campaigning language as "quite hostile and xenophobic".[86] The report criticised the atmosphere as limiting wide-ranging debate and found that public television broadcasts were biased towards the governing coalition. It also criticised the use of "information campaigns" funded out of public money, which it stated generated "a pervasive overlap between state and ruling party resources, undermining contestants' ability to compete on an equal basis".[86]

Government formation

On 12 April 2018, cabinet member Antal Rogán announced TV2 that "there will be a new government formed, mostly with new members and a new structure", in line with the government's new priorities, including demography and family policy and migrant issue.[87] On 20 April, Orbán said "I would say that people not voted for the continuation of the work of the present government, but they want no change in the service of the goals". There he announced the replacement of János Lázár as Minister of the Prime Minister's Office, one of the most influential members of his former cabinets, and confirmed Mihály Varga will remain minister responsible for economy. He called solving demographic problems as the government's most important task.[88] On 23 April, Zoltán Balog announced, he will step down as Minister of Human Resources, disagreeing with the prime minister over structural considerations, who intended to keep the type of superministry system. Balog will lead the Fidesz's Foundation for Civic Hungary.[89] Next day, Sándor Fazekas also said that he will not continue his work as Minister of Agriculture after eight years.[90] On 25 April, minister without portfolio Lajos Kósa announced he will leave the government, as Orbán entrusted him to lead the Fidesz campaign for the upcoming local elections in 2019.[91] On the same day, the online version of ATV reported that Minister of Defence István Simicskó also left the government, and will be replaced by "a general".[92]

Senior press officer Bertalan Havasi announced the compilation of the government on 27 April, which largely confirmed previous unofficial information. Accordingly, the name of the Ministry of National Economy was restored to Ministry of Finance, which existed before 2010.[93] The Ministry of National Development abolished and its duties were distributed: Andrea Bártfai-Mager was appointed minister without portfolio for managing national wealth and László Palkovics became head of the newly formed Ministry of National Innovation and Technology, while energy issues were assigned to the Prime Minister's Office.[94] The Ministry of Agriculture was renamed from "Földművelésügyi Minisztérium" to "Agrárminisztérium" with no change in the scope of operations.[95] Seven members of Orbán's third cabinet – Zsolt Semjén, Antal Rogán, Péter Szijjártó, Sándor Pintér, László Trócsányi, Mihály Varga and János Süli – retained their positions. Miklós Kásler, the Director of the National Institute of Oncology was appointed Minister of Human Resources, while incumbent Secretary of State for Agriculture István Nagy replaced his superior Sándor Fazekas.[93] Fidesz caucus leader Gergely Gulyás became the new Minister of the Prime Minister's Office, but the evolving Prime Minister's Government Office under the direct management of Viktor Orbán has reduced his powers.[96] Col. Gen. Tibor Benkő, who has served as Chief of the General Staff since 2010 was nominated to the position of Minister of Defence, becoming the first active military officer since the end of communism, who held the ministry.[97]

On 10 May, the new Hungarian Parliament elected Orbán to a fourth term.[98] Orbán's new cabinet was then sworn in on 18 May.[99]

See also


  1. Karácsony was selected as the MSZP–Dialogue alliance's Prime Minister candidate on 12 December 2017. He had also served as leader of Dialogue since 2014.
  2. Contested the previous election as part of the Unity alliance.


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