Europe 2009 – Hungary


Hungary elects its MEPs using proportional representation in one nationwide constituency. Hungary elected 24 MEPs in their first European election in 2004, and will elect 22 next weekend.

The 2004 election produced the following result:

  • Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Union (European People’s Party) – 47.4%, 12 seats
  • Hungarian Socialist Party (Party of European Socialists) – 34.3%, 9 seats
  • Alliance of Free Democrats (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) – 7.7%, 2 seats
  • Hungarian Democratic Forum (European People’s Party) – 5.3%, 1 seat

Recent politics in Hungary has been dominated by rivalry between the conservative Fidesz and the centre-left Socialist Party (the successor to the Communist ruling party up until the 1980s). While the Hungarian Democratic Forum won the 1990 election, the Socialist Party won in 1994 in a landslide, and the 1998, 2002 and 2006 elections have all seen close results between the Socialists and Fidesz, with Fidesz winning in 1998 and the Socialists winning in 2002 and 2006.

Recent polls show a pretty decisive result, with Fidesz polling 66-71% in the polls produced in May, with the Socialist Party on 14-21%. The other two parties with incumbent MEPs are both consistently polling below 5%, suggesting they will likely lose representation.

There is one other party with a shot at winning a seat, the far-right Movement for a Better Hungary, who goes by the shorter name Jobbik. Jobbik has been polling around 4-7% in recent polls, which could give it one seat in the European Parliament. The party did not run in 2004 and did not qualify for seats at the 2006 Hungarian election.

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  1. Fidesz is an interesting party in that it’s quite different than most Euro conservative parties economically. Fidesz remains quite nationalistic and protectionist, and criticized the Socialist privatizations. It is also a supporter of Greater Hungary.

    Fidesz actually used to be a liberal-libertarian party at its origin. It had a maximum age limit of 35 and was founded by libertarian anti-communist students. Fidesz actually stands for Fiatal Demokraták Szövetsége – Alliance of Young Democrats.

  2. It really amuses me how these old countries are so nationalistic! Here in Australia we have a Queen from another country as Head of State. A flag with another countries flag on it! A National Anthem that no one likes. A foreign policy that the Laborials says “anything that the USA wants”! Europe may be old but at least people are holding on and fighting for their identity. There are so many people in this country that are anti-Australian.

  3. Nationalism can and does have some very negative consequences. The USA in very nationalistic and that is the cause of many of its foreign policy and other problems.

  4. Is nationalism really anything but a modern expression of tribalism?

    Save the nationalism for the sporting field or Eurovision, I say.

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