2022 Hungarian parliamentary election - live updates
Photo by MTI/Zoltán Balogh
Election day in Hungary is underway and the Budapest Business Journal follows the events as they unfold. This article will be updated regularly throughout the day with turnout data, election results, and more.
Midnight - Election coverage ends
We would like to thank our readers around the globe today for following our coverage of the 2022 parliamentary election. Check back tomorrow for updates on the final election results and the outcome of the child protection referendum.
11:52 p.m. - Latest results
According to official data published by the National Election Office (NVI), with more than 85% of votes counted:
Fidesz-KDNP has won the election with 53.71% of party list votes.
United for Hungary came in second with 34.41%.
Our Homeland came in third with 6.31%.
Seat projection by NVI:
Fidesz-KDNP: 135 (enough for a supermajority)
United for Hungary: 56
Our Homeland : 7
As things stand at nearly midnight, the National Self-Government of Germans in Hungary will also delegate a minority spokesman to the parliament, as they have collected enough votes to pass the parliamentary threshold for doing so.
11:40 p.m. - Márki-Zay concedes defeat
Péter Márki-Zay, United for Hungary's candidate for prime minister, acknowledged Fidesz's election victory on Sunday evening in Budapest, state news wire MTI reports.
Speaking at the City Park artificial ice rink, he said, "I don't want to hide my disappointment and sadness, we never thought that this would be the result."
The opposition politician described the election contest as extremely unequal but said he did not dispute the result.
11:25 p.m. - Orbán calls election night showing a "huge victory"
"We have won a huge victory", Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, President of Fidesz and Hungary's Prime Minister, said late on Sunday at the election night HQ of Fidesz-KDNP on Sunday evening, according to a report by state news wire MTI.
Speaking on a stage in front of the Bálna event center in Budapest shortly before 11 p.m., the Prime Minister said, "We have won a huge victory, so great that it can be seen from the moon, but certainly from Brussels."
"We are looking good, we are looking better, perhaps we have never looked better than we do tonight," he said.
Orbán told the Hungarians of Transcarpathia (Ukraine) to hold on, not to be afraid, as the motherland is with them.
11:20 p.m. - The battle for Budapest, Lázár vs. Márki-Zay
Before the election, polls predicted a strong showing for the opposition in Budapest's individual constituencies. As things stand, Fidesz-KDNP will take two electoral districts in the capital. Four years ago, the governing party alliance managed to triumph in five constituencies. While this might look like an improvement in results in the opposition, many battles are closer than expected.
In addition, United for Hungary only has the lead in two electoral districts outside the capital: Csongrád-Csanád County's first electoral district (Szeged) and Baranya County's first electoral district (Pécs). Csongrád-Csanád County's fourth election district where Péter Márki-Zay is running against János Lázár has already been called for Fidesz's Lázár, and the gap between the two candidates now stands at more than 12 percentage points.
Earlier this week, Lázár said that Márki-Zay will be a "dead man" in the political sense by 10 p.m. on election night. Whether Márki-Zay will remain a key figure on the Hungarian political scene remains to be seen, but he has been handed a very heavy defeat.
11:05 p.m. - The latest results
According to data by the National Election Office (NVI), with more than 75% of all votes processed:
Fidesz-KDNP leads with 54.25%
United for Hungary is in second with 33.92%
Our Homeland is in third with 6.36%
Parliamentary seat allocation estimate by NVI:
Fidesz-KDNP: 135 (enough for a supermajority)
United for Hungary: 57
Our Homeland: 7
It seems like all polls reporting a single-digit gap between the incumbent national-conservative alliance and United for Hungary were wrong. The results look like nothing but a landslide for Viktor Orbán.
10:58 p.m. - Zoltán Kovács: We are extremely confident
We are extremely confident, said the Minister of State for International Communications and Relations of the Prime Minister's Office at the Fidesz-KDNP election night headquarters on Sunday evening, according to state news wire MTI.
Kovács stressed that it was a very serious contest, with an unseen number of parties and political forces taking part in the fight in Hungary. He thanked everyone for voting, stressing that democracy has not weakened but strengthened in the past 12 years.
Zoltán Kovács (photo by Károly Árvai/Prime Minister’s Office)
"It is very encouraging to see on the map that the mandate - which we have already received three times from the Hungarian people - promises to be very strong for the future," the State Secretary said.
10:25 p.m. - Results update
According to the latest data by the National Election Office (NVI), with more than 60% of party list votes counted:
Fidesz-KDNP has the lead with 55.16% of the votes.
United for Hungary is behind with 33.09%.
Our Homeland is in third with 6.45%.
NVI's parliamentary seat estimate:
United for Hungary: 58
Our Homeland: 7
10:14 p.m. - Turnout breakdown
According to a breakdown of turnout data by atlatszo.hu, turnout in small villages was somewhat higher at 6:30 p.m. than four years ago. Turnout in villages reached 65.49% as opposed to 65.38% in 2018. Small rural settlements have long been the core of Fidesz's support base.
Turnout in Budapest at 6:30 p.m. was 72.35%, a bit below the 72.75% figure registered four years ago.
10 p.m. - Fidesz retains strong lead
According to the National Election Office (NVI), with 48.47% of party list votes counted):
Fidesz-KDNP leads with 56.65%
United for Hungary is in second place with 31.74%
Our Homeland is in third with 6.54%
Parliamentary seat allocation estimate:
Fidesz-KDNP: 133 (just enough for a 2/3 supermajority)
United for Hungary: 58
Our Homeland: 8
At this point it is all but certain that Viktor Orbán will get his fourth consecutive term as Prime Minister. It also seems like the right-wing nationalist party Our Homeland will get seats in the national assembly.
9:40 p.m. - Latest results
According to results published by the National Election Office (NVI), with 36.32% of party list votes counted:
Fidesz-KDNP leads with 58.12%
United for Hungary is behind with 30.41%
Our Homeland has 6.57%
Parliamentary seat allocation estimate:
Fidesz-KDNP: 134 (enough for a 2/3 supermajority)
United for Hungary: 57
Our Homeland: 8
9:30 p.m. - Lázár leads against Márki-Zay
In Csongrád-Csanád County's 4th electoral district, János Lázár leads the race against Péter Márki-Zay, with 51.83% of the votes against Márki-Zay's 40.02% with 62.39% of votes counted.
In Hungary, MPs are elected in one of two ways: 106 represent individual constituencies across the country, with the remaining 93 appointed via the so-called “party lists.”
9:12 p.m. - NVI updates results
With 23.03% of party list votes processed:
Fidesz-KDNP still leads with 59.99%.
United for Hungary has 28.89%.
Our Homeland has 6.58%.
According to the election office's seat projections, this would mean that Viktor Orbán's Fidesz-KDNP would be able to retain his supermajority with 134 seats. United for Hungary would get 57 seats, and Our Homeland would get eight seats.
9:07 p.m. - THE FIRST RESULTS ARE IN
According to the first results published on valasztas.hu with 16.76% of the party list ballots processed:
Fidesz-KDNP leads with 61.93% of the votes
United for Hungary is in second place has 27.06%.
Our Homeland (Mi Hazánk) has 6.61%.
It is very important to note at this point that most processed votes are coming from rural areas that form the core of Fidesz's electoral support. There are electoral districts in the capital where no results are available as of 9:06 p.m.
8:42 p.m. - First results expected around 9 p.m.
According to state news channel M1, the first results are expected to arrive around 9 p.m. Unlike four years ago, there are no long queues of voters waiting to cast their ballot after 7 p.m., so no big delays can be expected this year.
Counting in progress (Photo by MTI/Zsolt Szigetvári)
8:13 p.m. Referendum turnout reached 67.06% at 6:30 p.m.
According to data published by NVI, about 67.06% of those eligible to vote in the national referendum on child protection issues had cast their ballot by 6:30 p.m. today.
7:59 p.m. - NVI starts processing postal votes
The National Election Office (NVI) began opening and scanning the ballot papers of almost 140,000 postal votes received for the parliamentary elections and the referendum at 7 p.m., according to a report by news agency MTI.
The scanning, prior to the manual counting, is necessary in order to be able to quickly communicate the provisional results of the postal votes, the election office says.
Voters who have no permanent residence in Hungary could vote by post for the national list. In total, the NVI registered 456,000 postal voters.
On Monday, the NVI opened the outer envelopes of the incoming postal packages and checked the validity of the voting documents, but they had to wait until 7 p.m. on Sunday to open the sealed envelopes inside, containing the votes.
7:25 p.m. - Turnout hit 67.8% at 6:30 p.m.
The nationwide turnout at 6:30 p.m. stood at 67.8%. This figure is slightly lower than the 6:30 p.m. turnout four years ago (68.13%).
Turnout in Budapest stood at 72.35%, which is also a bit lower than four years ago (72.75%).
The final turnout is expected to be in the ballpark of 70%.
7:18 p.m. - Fidesz-KDNP expected to retain majority, Medián's latest poll says
According to polling company Medián's latest poll, commissioned by commercial broadcaster RTL, Fidesz-KDNP is expected to get 49% of the vote, while United for Hungary is expected to get 41%.
The joke party Hungarian Two-tailed Dog Party (MKKP) is expected to get 4.5%, and right-wing nationalist party Our Homeland (Mi Hazánk) is predicted to get 4.5% as well, the poll shows. In Hungary, the threshold to enter the national assembly is 5%, meaning that both parties could have a realistic chance of securing seats in the parliament.
Medián also a forecast regarding the allocation of parliamentary seats. According to the pollster, Fidesz-KDNP is expected to win 121 seats, United for Hungary will clinch 77 seats and a national minority advocate will win 1 seat.
It is important to note that this poll is not an exit poll, as it was conducted between March 30-31 but published today.
6:51 p.m. - Polling stations to close soon
Polling stations are set to close at 7 p.m. marking the end of voting. However, those queuing for their turn to cast their ballot at closing time will be able to do so.
The electoral staff will then start processing the votes. The first results are expected to be published by the National Election Office (NVI) around 9 p.m. at the earliest.
NVI will not publish results as long as there are people waiting in line to vote.
Image by Attila Balázs/MTI
6:10 p.m. - Voters very active in Csongrád-Csanád County 04
Voters are still very active in Csongrád-Csanád County's fourth electoral district, where United for Hungary candidate for PM Péter Márki-Zay faces off against Fidesz MP and former Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office János Lázár.
At 5 p.m., the turnout there stood at 66.46%, considerably above the countrywide average.
5:47 p.m. - Countrywide turnout at 5 p.m. nearly the same as 4 years ago
Some 62.92% of eligible voters made their voices heard at polling stations around the country until 5 p.m.
This percentage is marginally lower than in 2018 when turnout stood at 63.21% two hours before voting ended.
5:02 p.m. - Turnout in Budapest stood at 56.44% at 3 p.m.
Until 3 p.m. approximately 56.44% of eligible voters in Budapest participated in the election process, which is higher than the national average.
Four years ago, the Budapest turnout reached 57.71% by 3 p.m. The gap between the 2018 and 2022 figures keeps slowly shrinking.
4:45 p.m. - Here's how Orbán and Márki-Zay voted today
Viktor Orbán was accompanied by his wife Anikó Lévai when he voted in Budapest's District XII today. (Image by MTI/Vivien Cher Benko)
Péter Márki-Zay cast his vote in Hódmezővásárhely, surrounded by his family. (Image by MTI/Tibor Rosta)
3:52 p.m. - Turnout at 3 p.m. only slightly lower than in 2018
Some 52.75% of eligible voters cast their votes until 3 p.m, meaning turnout is inching closer to the figures registered in 2018. Four years ago, the turnout at 3 p.m. stood at 53.64%.
One of the factors contributing to the lower turnout in the first hours of election day could be the weather. In the morning, Hungary woke up to temperatures close to the freezing point and, in many places, snowfall which later turned into rain. Now it is partly sunny here in Budapest with the temperature reaching 7°C.
2:52 p.m. - Child protection referendum turnout stood at 39.55% at 1 p.m.
According to the National Election Office, 39.55% (3,043,206 voters) of those eligible to vote in the national referendum on child protection issues had cast their ballot by 1 p.m. on Sunday, state news agency MTI reports.
On the same day as the election, a referendum on four questions regarding child protection is also being held in Hungary.
The questions are:
- Do you support the teaching of sexual orientation to minors in public education institutions without parental consent?
- Do you support the promotion of sex reassignment therapy for underage children?
- Do you support the unrestricted exposure of underage children to sexually explicit media content that may affect their development?
- Do you support the showing of sex-change media content to minors?
During the campaign, Fidesz-KDNP asked voters to vote against all four proposals. In contrast, the United for Hungary opposition alliance asked their supporters to invalidate the ballot by writing crosses in both the “yes” and “no” boxes.
Photo by MTI/Tamás Kovács
2:16 p.m. - Turnout in Budapest also lower than in 2018, so far
Until 1 p.m. approximately 42.7% of eligible voters in Budapest participated in the election process. In 2018, the 1 p.m. turnout was 45.52%.
However, the gap between the 2018 figures and this year's numbers has shrunk to 2.82 percentage points, down from 4.13 percentage points at 11 a.m.
1:44 p.m. - Turnout at 1 p.m. reaches 40.01%
Approximately 40.01% of eligible voters cast their votes in the Hungarian parliamentary election until 1 p.m.
Four years ago, this figure stood at 42.32% but the 14.24% increase in turnout between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. this year is a new record.
12:55 p.m. - Around 900 election observers registered with NVI
About 900 foreign observers have been registered for Sunday's parliamentary elections and the referendum held on the same day, state news wire MTI reports, citing a list published by the National Election Office (NVI).
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) has 235 observers registered, while the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PE) has 102.
The European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO) registered 275 observers, and there are 49 registered observers from the Danish organization SILBA (Support Initiative for Liberty and Democracy).
In addition to these, embassies and other smaller organizations have also registered observers for Sunday's vote.
Four years ago, just over 150 foreign observers registered for the parliamentary elections.
Registered observers from another state or international organization can observe the electoral process, be present at the work of the electoral bodies, ask questions of the members of the electoral bodies and draw their attention to any anomalies they observe. However, the observer may not interfere with or influence the electoral process or the activities of the electoral bodies.
12:37 p.m. - Huge line of people waiting to vote in Stuttgart
Voting is underway at Hungarian embassies and consulates around the world as well.
According to one of our readers, the queue of people waiting to vote at the Hungarian consulate in Stuttgart is hundreds of meters long.
11:49 a.m. - Turnout at 11 a.m. lower than in 2018
According to the National Election Office (NVI), voter turnout reached 25.77% by 11 a.m. This is well behind the 11 a.m. turnout measured four years ago (29.93%), but higher than turnout measured at the same time on election day in 2014 (23.23%) and 2010 (24.78%).
11:04 a.m. - Over 231,000 people can vote for the first time today
More than 231,000 young Hungarians will be able to exercise their right to vote for the first time today, according to a report by state news wire MTI. They are those who have come of age since the 2019 municipal elections.
The first-time voters will receive a red-white-green (Hungary’s national colors) badge from the vote-counting commissions. The round, silver-edged badge reads "I voted!". It is slightly larger than a 50 forint coin.
10:45 a.m. - Turnout in Csongrád-Csanád 04 above national average
One of today's most intriguing electoral battles takes place in Csongrád-Csanád County's 4th electoral district, where United for Hungary candidate for PM Péter Márki-Zay faces off against Fidesz heavyweight and former Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office János Lázár.
At 9 a.m., the turnout there stood at 13.29%, well above the national average.
9:47 a.m. - 9 a.m. turnout surpasses 10% mark
About 10.31% of eligible voters cast their votes by 9 a.m, according to official data published by the election office.
This figure is lower than in 2018, when 9 a.m. turnout stood at 13.17%, but higher than in 2014 (9.5%) and 2010 (10.23%).
8:40 a.m. - No extraordinary events reported at polling stations during opening, NVI says
All polling stations opened in an orderly fashion and no extraordinary events were reported, the head of the National Election Office (NVI) told state news wire MTI on Sunday morning.
Tamás Mucsi said that all 10,243 polling stations in Hungary's 106 constituencies had started their work in an orderly manner, all conditions for voting were ensured, and the first voters could cast their ballots everywhere.
Since the morning, international observers have been monitoring the voting, MTI notes.
8:25 a.m. - 7 a.m. turnout slightly lower than in 2018
According to data by the National Election Office published on valasztas.hu, the turnout at 7 a.m. stood at 1.82%
Four years ago, about 2.24% of eligible voters cast their votes in the first hour of election day.
6:00 a.m. - Polling stations open
It is an unusually cold Sunday morning here in Hungary, and the voting has just begun. Polling stations are open until 7 p.m. but those in line waiting to cast their votes will be able to do so.
No official election results will be made public by the National Election Office as long as voting is underway. Four years ago, this caused major delays in result announcements, as there were still massive queues at certain polling stations well after 7 p.m.
According to official data by election website valasztas.hu, a grand total of 8,215,304 people are eligible to vote, including 65,480 Hungarians voting at consulates and embassies abroad, and 456,129 people voting by mail.
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