So funktioniert das Wahlsystem zur Parlamentswahl in Ungarn

Today we are taking a look at the Hungarian parliamentary system ahead of the upcoming election on Sunday. Read on to learn more about how the 199 seats in parliament are divided up.

Strengthening the Majority Vote

The Hungarian parliament is a one chamber system, seated in Budapest. 199 officials will be elected on the 8th of April, 2018 by the Hungarian people. The election system is a combination between a majority and proportional representation. The last reform to the election procedures was in 2011. These reforms drastically reduced the number of MPs and voting districts combined with a strengthening of the Majority voting system. Of the original 176 constituencies, only 106 now remain.

53.5% of MPs Directly Elected

Hungarian voters are given two votes. The first is to directly elect a candidate while the second is for a party. Ethnic minorities are allowed to cast a special ballot for a minorities list. This helps ensure that ethnic minorities have either a speaker with, or without voting rights – depending on how many minority votes they receive. Once a minority vote has been cast, they may not vote for a national party list. Interestingly, Hungarians who live abroad do not have the right to cast a direct vote – they may only vote for a party list.

93 seats in the Hungarian parliament are elected via lists, with the remaining 106 seats being directly elected from constituencies. After reforms in 2011, the percentage of officials directly elected rose from 45.6% to 53.3%. Run-off elections have also been discarded from the system by removing the need for candidates to achieve an absolute majority.

The Rules for Candidacy

Not only applicants who belong to a party but also those who are running as independents are allowed to take part in the parliamentary election. Since 2011, prospective candidates just need to gather 500 signatures and they may compete. Multiple parties may also unite in order to present a single candidate into the race.

Party Lists & Proportional Representation in Parliament

Electoral lists are only allowed to be submitted by parties which have candidates up for election in at least 1/4 of all electoral districts. Regional electoral lists are not available in the Hungarian Parliamentary election as candidates chosen through lists represent the overall popularity of a party on a national level.

In order to have seats distributed to them once votes are tallied, parties must have received at least 5% of the vote. Coalitions of 2 parties must receive 10%, coalitions of 3: 15% etc. When determining seat allocations for minority, separate rules apply. A seat is assigned if the so-called preference rate is reached. This is currently set to 1/372 of the vote, or an equivalent of 0.27% vote share. If a minority list reaches a 5% voter share, then they will be granted additional seats in-keeping with the standard election procedures.

Distribution of Seats in the Hungarian Parliament

The seats left over after minority lists have been awarded are then distributed according to the D’Hondt method. Candidates elected in the direct, majority vote election are also included in this calculation. Their lead over their closest opponent minus 1 is added to the overall vote share.

In our upcoming #ElectionNews, we will let you know the biggest wins and biggest defeats of this latest election.