A quick look at the results of the Hungarian election

The interest in the Hungarian election is incredibly high on Hungarian Spectrum. The number of visitors more than doubled today. I’m sure that some of them were disappointed to see no new post analyzing the results. But the numbers began to trickle in very late, and the fate of some districts is still undecided. It looks, however, as if Fidesz will have 132 seats in parliament, enough for a two-thirds majority. This feat was achieved with only 44-45% of the popular vote. The new electoral system favors the winner that much. Four years ago Fidesz needed at least 52.5% to achieve that magic number.

Yes, the democratic opposition did very badly, but still better than four years ago. If you recall, in 2010 there was only one district in Budapest that was won by an MSZP candidate. This time that number will be considerably higher. Yes, it is true, as many of you remarked in the comments, it looks as if the Left lost everything except the capital. But four years ago they also lost practically the whole city. There are some high points. I find it amazing, for instance, that Szilárd Németh, the grand prophet of utility decreases and mayor of Csepel, lost to the candidate of the democratic opposition. And that Ágnes Kunhalmi was able to win in the district in which Gábor Simon was supposed to run. And that Ferenc Papcsák of Zugló lost the election. These are the bright spots.

Valasztasok 2014 Budapest

It is also true that the election campaign that was orchestrated by Fidesz cannot be considered a campaign in the traditional sense of the word. In democratic countries the parties of the opposition have a more or less equal opportunity to reach the electorate. This was not the case in Orbán’s Hungary.

Yet one must admit that the democratic opposition’s performance in the last four years, ever since Gordon Bajnai offered himself as the man around whom the parties of the opposition could gather, has been abysmal. This is not the time to list all the mistakes he and Attila Mesterházy made. It is enough to say that they wasted at least a year and a half of precious time. It doesn’t matter how often one repeats that a month or even two weeks are enough time to campaign, this is self-delusion, especially when one’s opponents are campaigning all through their four years in office.

When I began this post, there was no word yet from Attila Mesterházy. Gordon Bajnai made a nice speech but, if I understand him right, he is planning to go it alone and sever relations with the others in the Unity Alliance. If that is the case, I can’t think of a worse reaction to the defeat. As it stands, Együtt 2014-PM will have two parliamentary members: Gordon Bajnai and Tímea Szabó. One needs at least five people to form a parliamentary caucus. DK, if all goes well, will have four members. Again, not enough to form a caucus. Ferenc Gyurcsány hoped to be able to form a separate DK caucus, but now that it is unlikely. I assume he has the good sense to promote a joint effort of the parties within the Unity Alliance in the next parliament unless perhaps he can convince Gábor Fodor of the liberals to join him. That is the only reasonable thing to do under the circumstances. If Bajnai, who perhaps spoke too hastily, decides against cooperation, I believe he will seal the fate of Együtt 2014-PM.

In order to cheer up those who kept fingers crossed for the anti-Orbán forces I suggest taking a look at the electoral maps of 2010 and 2014 on the site of the National Electoral office. Yes, this year’s map looks terribly orange but four years ago it was even worse. That’s some consolation, albeit admittedly small.

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111 comments

  1. petofi :

    Eva S. Balogh :

    tappanch :
    Kunhalmi lost by 22 votes, but there are still 2000 votes outstanding!

    Where do these outstanding votes come from?

    Victor will now unveil a Felcsutian trick: in the recount, Kunhalmi will win!
    And now, Felcsutian humor at full throttle, Orban, being 1 seat short of 2/3, will throw his arms up, and declare, I’ve been ‘forced’ to do it….and invite Jobbik to join the government ruling party.

    The fun begins…

    HAJRA MAGYAROK!!!

    I don’t think it will be necessary. They will find the vote in Transylvania.

  2. Lokalkosmopolit :
    Good point.

    THE REAL DEMOCRACY :
    Using the UK electorial system in Hungary, there would have 189 Fidesz-KDNP MPs (95%) now and 10 MPs from your postcommie/libnazi favourites. :)

    Yes! Thank goodness Fidesz democratically (not like under the communists) reformatted the election law on a way that they needed less vote to win now then to loose in 2002 and 2006!
    Maybe in the next four year they will insert some points so even with two total vote they could win! That way only Kover and Orban has to go to the election boots and Hungary will spare all the money!

  3. LMP did a favor to Fidesz in Budapest… if they had joined the united opposition, the democratic opposition could have won most individual districts in Budapest. And I doubt Orban would be this close to 2/3.

    Of course, it would have still been a clear Fidesz win in the rest of the country.

  4. Judging by my facebook friends, if LMP had joined the united opposition, they would not have voted for them. I think you under estimate how profoundly unimpressive many people found Unity which is why someone as profoundly unimpressive as Schiffer has been proven correct. Annoying but there you have it.

  5. Eva S. Balogh :

    petofi :

    Eva S. Balogh :

    tappanch :
    Kunhalmi lost by 22 votes, but there are still 2000 votes outstanding!

    Where do these outstanding votes come from?

    Victor will now unveil a Felcsutian trick: in the recount, Kunhalmi will win!
    And now, Felcsutian humor at full throttle, Orban, being 1 seat short of 2/3, will throw his arms up, and declare, I’ve been ‘forced’ to do it….and invite Jobbik to join the government ruling party.
    The fun begins…
    HAJRA MAGYAROK!!!

    I don’t think it will be necessary. They will find the vote in Transylvania.

    I’m gonna take a wild guess that Orban will suppress those Transylvanian votes.
    He wants Jobbik in government…just to aggravate the international, jewish, cabal!

  6. @HiBoM: Unity unimpressive? Come on, it’s not that bad with all the billboards portraying them as common criminals all over the country :-)

  7. @HiBoM

    “I think you under estimate how profoundly unimpressive many people found Unity…”

    Agreed. But surely the worst part was to have Mesterhazy as the leader! It should’ve been
    Bajnai. Or, if they had had the sense to invite Bokros, he would’ve been ideal. Anyone but
    Mesterhazy. I suppose Gyurcsany–forever hachet-jobbed–could not be picked. Maybe, a joint Bajnai-Bokros ticket would’ve been best.

    And please stop all this nonsense talk of the failure of the Left! Hungarians wouldn’t know ideology if it hit them in the face. Even if they did, they don’t care about it. Give them an attractive face, a heroic voice praising their talents and achievements (? sic!)….and the
    Hungarian Everyman is filled to satisfaction.

    But back to Bajnai…he’s ever more impressive as he gains his footing. He has to dump that advisor. They should’ve had him stomping the countryside 6 months ago, with speeches ever more fiery as he went. Bajnai is the future of the country: I hope he has the staying power to see it though.

  8. petofi :
    But back to Bajnai…he’s ever more impressive as he gains his footing. He has to dump that advisor. They should’ve had him stomping the countryside 6 months ago, with speeches ever more fiery as he went. Bajnai is the future of the country: I hope he has the staying power to see it though.

    They should have, indeed. A slight blemish, though that six months ago he couldn’t even decide if he really want to do this whole “Unity” thing… Unfortunately he kept procrastinating trough the best part of previous year, effectively nullifying the initial momentum what they indeed have had at the beginning. People lost enthusiasm, then hope, finally interest, and then they started negotiating again, and so on.
    A pity, really, since I expressed already he grew into a role to last few weeks, too late by then.

    Remember, Bajnai never before acted as a full blown politician,- wasn’t necessary I guess – he was the quiet professional but hardly more, let alone a campaign orator, so, compared to his previous life he made quite a leap.
    Next time he will come with more experience, I hope.

  9. There will be “blood on the street”. Hungarians will soon start mass demonstrations against Orban, demanding to increase the cost of living by raising taxes, increase the cost of gas, electricity etc., impose more burden on the ordinary people and most importantly, stop telling them how fantastic and talented they are.

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