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EP vote brings Fidesz win, reshuffled opposition

This Sundayʼs EU parliamentary elections in Hungary brought the expected dominant victory for Prime Minister Viktor Orbánʼs Fidesz-KDNP alliance, with surprisingly strong showings from the leftist Democratic Coalition (DK) and newcomers Momentum Movement, but poor results for the Socialist Party (MSZP), nationalist Jobbik, and green LMP. 

Photo: Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock.com

Fidesz won 52% of the votes, resulting in 13 seats in the European Parliament, according to news portal Index.hu. This result falls just short of the partyʼs goal of gaining two-thirds of the 21 MEP seats allocated to Hungary.

Ex-MSZP Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsányʼs Democratic Coalition (DK), which ran a campaign supporting the idea of a federal Europe with Gyurcsányʼs wife Klára Dobrev leading its list of candidates, won 16%, resulting in four MEPs. Most polls put DK around the 10% mark prior to the vote.

Momentum will enter the EP for the first time, having achieved a hair below 10% of the vote, resulting in two seats. No polls predicted Momentum gaining more than one seat prior to Sundayʼs vote. It will join the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) grouping in the new European Parliament.

The MSZPʼs support crumbled, however, with the party receiving just over 6% of the vote, instead of the double-digit result it had expected, resulting in just one seat.

Right-wing opposition party Jobbik performed in a similarly weak fashion, also achieving just one seat with approximately 6% of the votes.

Perhaps the biggest loser of the elections was LMP (Politics Can Be Different), which crashed out of the EP with little more than 2% of the votes. Even the joke Hungarian Two-tailed Dog Party, running on a campaign promising free beer and eternal life, and the far-right Our Homeland Movement, promising to deport the most heinous criminals to Siberia, received more votes. 

EU-wide turnout almost 51%

About 50.95% of eligible voters cast their ballots in European elections across the continent, according to official results, making this the first time turnout has risen in the past four decades.

EU-wide turnout in the last European elections in 2014 was put at a mere 43%. The first vote 40 years ago, when the EU consisted of nine countries, generated a peak of 62%.

Germany’s Greens doubled their share of the Sunday vote, leaping into second place behind Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and above the center-left Social Democrats. France’s green party also saw a surge in support. The picture was mixed, however, as the far-right National Rally, led by Marine Le Pen, came in first in France, while Matteo Salviniʼs populist Lega also triumphed in Italy.

According to results made public at the European Parliamentʼs official site, the center-right European Peopleʼs Party (EPP) group has won most seats in the assembly with 179, down from 216.

The center-left Socialists and Democrats (S&D) grouping came second with 150 seats, down from 185. The centrist ALDE has announced that it will join forces with French President Emmanuel Macron’s MEPs in the next parliament, which will give the new alliance 107 of the parliament’s 751 seats, making it a major player. The group of the Greens/European Free Alliance will be the fourth biggest EP group with 70 seats.