Hungary’s Fidesz-led alliance, which has held office for the past twelve years, won a fourth successive term in Sunday’s election amid a high turnout of 69.49 percent, and was on course to win 135 seats in the 199-seat parliament, keeping its two-thirds majority, while United for Hungary, a coalition of opposition parties which had harboured high hopes of unseating Viktor Orbán’s government by joining together, fell well short of a mandate to govern.
Hitherto non-parliamentary parties, the radical Mi Hazánk (My Homeland), and the liberal Momentum Movement, which campaigned as part of United for Hungary, both crossed the 5 percent threshold for seats in parliament, with the radical party notching up seven mandates. Whereas
the opposition performed strongly in Budapest, capturing 16 out of 18 districts, Fidesz painted most of the election map in its party colour, orange, with the exception of 18 individual consistencies out of a total of 106.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán declared a “huge victory” “We’ve secured a huge victory, so big in fact that you can see it from the Moon, and certainly from Brussels,” Orbán said at the Balna Centre on the Pest side of the River Danube, the site where Fidesz awaited the results. “We’re looking pretty good; we’re looking better and better, perhaps we’ve never looked as good as we’re looking tonight,” he said. Orbán also
reassured ethnic Hungarians in western Ukraine’s Transcarpathia region that the motherland was “with them”, telling them to “hang in there” and not to be afraid.
Peter Márki-Zay, the prime ministerial candidate of the united opposition, conceded to Fidesz. “I’m stunned just like everyone else,” Márki-Zay said at the City Park Ice Rink in Budapest. “I don’t want to hide my disappointment and my sadness; we would never have thought that this would be the outcome.”
Márki-Zay said the conditions in the election were “extremely unequal”,
adding, however, that the opposition was not disputing the result, “only that it was a democratic and free race”. With 91.06 percent of the votes counted, the Fidesz-led alliance won 53.49 percent with their national list as against 34.63 percent for the united opposition, while
Mi Hazánk secured 6.28 percent.
László Toroczkai, the leader of Mi Hazánk, hailed his party’s achievement in securing seats in parliament, saying: “The miracle has happened; this is the first step in saving Hungary.” Toroczkai, who is the mayor of Ásotthalom on the Hungarian-Serbian border, said Mi Hazánk had worked “against an unprecedented headwind”, citing
Facebook’s move to suspend the party’s page days before the election.
Meanwhile, János Lázár, a former prime minister’s chief of staff, defeated Márki-Zay in his electoral district of Hódmezővásárhely, in southern Hungary.
“The civil war ended tonight because we’ve won the war,”
Lázár said in his victory speech. Lázár captured 52.14 percent of the vote with 96.33 percent of votes counted.
The Centre for Fundamental Rights think-tank said Sunday’s election was an “outstanding event” in the history of post-Communist Hungarian politics.
The referendum on child protection held simultaneously with the ballot is expected to be valid and successful, the think-tank said.
The election and the plebiscite “have shown that Hungarian democracy is robust,” it added. Hungary’s legal framework “is stable and provides proper guarantees against foreign attempts at interference and internal abuses, and could maintain the election’s integrity.”
The referendum on child protection held in parallel with the election contained four questions.