Fidesz would have won 60% of seats in parliament but for dubious practice of compensating the winner

April 22, 2014


Low voter turnout and an electoral system turned on its head made it possible for Fidesz to achieve a two-thirds parliamentary majority in the general election of 6 April despite its national list receiving just 43.57 percent of the vote.   This electoral aberration can be attributed primarily to the new practice of compensating the winning party for votes cast in electoral districts beyond the minimum necessary for its candidate to get elected.

By modifying the electoral law so as to compensate the winning party for so-called “broken votes” previously allotted only to losing parties only, a system originally intended to make it possible for small parties to get into parliament, now artificially increases the size of the winning party’s mandate at the expense of the losing parties.

According to Hungarian blogger Ténytá, if the 2014 general election had been held under the previous electoral system, instead of a two-thirds parliamentary majority the Fidesz-KDNP alliance would have received an absolute majority of 60 percent, the left-wing alliance (MSZP, DK, Together 2014-PM, Liberals) 22 percent instead of 19 percent, radical right-wing Jobbik 15 percent instead of 11.5 percent, and LMP 4 percent instead of 2.5 percent.

According to Ténytá Serbia is the only other country in Europe where a party or party alliance receiving less than 50 percent of the popular vote won more than 60 percent of the seats in parliament. There the Serbian Progress Party (SNS) won 63.2 percent of the seats in parliament with just 48.4 percent of the vote.

Seen in a different light, if the Hungarian general election of 2010 (where the Fidesz national list received 52.7 percent of the vote) had taken place under the current electoral system, it would have resulted in a Fidesz-KDNP parliamentary mandate of 75.9 percent instead of 68.1 percent.

Referenced in this article:

Ezzel az eredményyel 2010-ben messze nincs kétharmad, Ténytá, 22 April 2014