As reported by index.hu, Fidesz politician Lajos Kósa claims the Budapest mayoral elections were decided by the 90,000 EU citizens who are eligible to vote in the capital. However, is his claim valid?
According to the electoral data, only 38,021 EU citizens were eligible to vote in the Budapest mayoral elections; this is less than 50% than the figure claimed by Kósa .Since there are 1,446,458 registered voters in the capital overall, they only make up 2.6% of this number.
Gergely Karácsony defeated Fidesz candidate István Tarlós by 46,000 votes, meaning that if we assume that every single EU citizen voted for Karácsony, and then we subsequently take away these votes, Karácsony would still have come away victorious. The turnout for the election was 45.58% overall, making it very unlikely that all EU citizens voted anyway.
However, when we consider election results on the district level, the story is quite different. In 10 out of Budapest’s 23 districts, candidates won by a margin which is less than the number of EU citizens living in the area. Four of these districts were won by Fidesz or an ally of Fidesz (Districts V, XII, XXIII and XX) and six were won by the opposition (Districts I, II, III, VI, VII and VIII).
In the counties outside of Budapest, there are around 80,000 eligible EU voters. In none of the counties do their numbers reach 3% of the total population.
It is difficult to see how EU citizens living in Hungary were able to influence the outcome of the elections, especially when the government claims that a significant number of these people are Western Europeans who are trying to find refuge away from the liberalist politics in their home country.
The number of participating EU citizens in the Hungarian local elections will never be known due to the anonymous nature of the voting procedure. However, based on the information we do have and contrary to Kósa’s claim, EU voters are not responsible for Fidesz’s poor performance.