Hungary election live: Viktor Orbán hails “a victory so big” as count indicates a Fidesz win

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Hungary's Prime Minister acknowledges cheering supporters during an election night rally in Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, April 3, 2022.

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Millions of Hungarians went to the polls on Sunday in a general election where the country’s longtime Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is seeking his fifth term in office.

His opponent is Péter Márki-Zay, who heads up an opposition coalition that has united in its desire to oust him.

Follow our live blog below for all the latest news, or watch Euronews live on the video player above.

04.03.202218:53

Key points to know: 

    Latest results indicate another win for Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party, with more than 80% of the votes counted.Orbán says: “We’ve won a victory so big that you can see it from the moon, but you can certainly see it from Brussels”Opposition leader Péter Márki-Zay looks on course to lose his seat in parliament Voting officially closed at 19:00 CET but polls in some locations stayed open a little longer to let people who had been waiting in line, cast their ballots. Turnout is around 70% which is on par with the 2018 election.In addition to the parliamentary elections voters were also asked to cast a ballot in a controversial referendum on LGBTQ rights and education. 

00:20

Hungary referendum result looks to be invalid

As we mentioned earlier in the blog, in addition to parliamentary elections, Hungary also held a controversial referendum on LGBTQ rights on Sunday. 

Voters were asked for their views on legislation that limits schools’ teaching about homosexuality and transgender issues. Critics say the law, passed last year, was discriminatory, contravened European values and equates homosexuality with paedophilia.

Under Hungary’s election law 50% of eligible voters need to cast a ballot… and 50% of those ballots cast need to be valid, ie: not spoiled in some way. 

From the current official referendum results it seems like those thresholds haven’t been met. 

04.03.202223:41

It looks like Viktor Orbán has won — but is this really a victory for democracy?

The result of Hungary’s parliamentary elections won’t fully represent the will of the people because “it’s not a real democracy”, a political scientist has warned.

Speaking to Euronews ahead of Sunday’s vote, Péter Krekó, executive director at Political Capital, said that he hopes that the world puts the result into context.

Read more at our story here:

Take Hungarian election result with a pinch of salt, expert warns

euronews🇭🇺 Euronews spoke to a political scientist about Hungary’s upcoming parliamentary elections and what they might mean for Europe.

04.03.202223:20

More from Viktor Orbán 

With around 80% of the national list votes counted, Hungary’s PM Viktor Orbán has been addressing his supporters. 

“How is it that we won the most when everyone was united against us?” he asks rhetorically, a nod to the six opposition parties which united under one leader in the hopes of getting enough votes to unseat Orbán.

He also said that this victory will be remembered also because they had to face the biggest “headwind”, with the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy listed among his ‘enemies’. 

(Euronews)

04.03.202223:01

Viktor Orbán speaks: ‘We’ve won a victory so big […] you can certainly see it from Brussels”

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has given a speech to supporters as it looks certain his nationalist Fidesz party is on course to win today’s general election. 

“We’ve won a victory so big that you can see it from the moon, and you can certainly see it from Brussels” he said on Sunday evening.

“Don’t be afraid, hold on, the motherland is with you” Orbán said, with around 70% of the votes counted.  

Orbán has routinely been at odds with Brussels over a crackdown on independent media outlets, and for adopting anti-LGBTQ policies. 

(Euronews)

Hungary’s Prime Minister acknowledges cheering supporters during an election night rally in Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, April 3, 2022. — AP Photo/Petr David Josek04.03.202222:45

Viktor Orbán’s party heading for another term in office

Nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s party led the Hungarian legislative elections on Sunday, heading for a fourth term in a row, according to the first partial official results published by the National Electoral Bureau (NVI).

With 60% of the votes countes, Fidesz was ahead with 55.75%, while the combined six opposition parties running under a unified list were on 32.55% of the vote. 

Analysts had predicted a much closer battle.

The ballot was marked by a turnout of 68.7%, a figure close to the record of four years ago. 

Ballot counting is still not finished in the bigger cities, but if this result were to be confirmed, it would mark an increase for Fidesz and its Christian Democrat allies, who had won a total of 49.27% ​​of the votes in the previous election in 2018.

In 2010, 2014 and 2018 Mr Orban won a two-thirds majority in parliament.

The full official result will only be known during the week, after the counting of hundreds of thousands of votes from voters from the diaspora as well as expatriates.

The Hungarian legislative voting system combines simple majority by constituency seats and proportional representation, a system implemented for the first time in 2014 and favoring, according to analysts, Fidesz in power.

(AFP)

04.03.202222:06

So who is Péter Márki-Zay?

Politician Péter Márki-Zay is the united candidate for six different political parties, who put aside their difference to choose one person they thought could beat Viktor Orbán in the polls. 

It looks like that’s not going to happen — and Márki-Zay might even lose his own seat in parliament — so what do we know about him?

Find out more in our story: 

Peter Marki-Zay: Is this the man who can beat Viktor Orban?

04.03.202222:03

Could Péter Márki-Zay be about to lose his seat? 

It looks like there might be a Hungarian election night upset on the cards. 

With 80% of local votes counted, the united opposition candidate for prime minister Péter Márki-Zay is trailing quite far behind his Fidesz opponent in his constituency. 

(AFP)

Vote counting so far for Péter Márki-Zay’s04.03.202221:54

How has turnout at this election compared with previous ones? 

Here’s a nice piece of election data visualization – charting voter turnout on election days in Hungary: 

Voter turnout at the last four Hungarian general elections04.03.202221:41

Some first partial results are out now: 

There are some partial results out now in the general election. 

With just over 36% of national list votes counted: 

    Fidesz have 58%Main opposition coalition have 30%Our Country Party 6.5%

Things to keep in mind: 

    These are very early results from just the national list votes, not constituency votes, so everything will change.Votes counted so far are from smaller towns and villages where Fidesz is strong. The opposition is stronger in big cities like Budapest.Analysts & opposition politicians say the ruling party Fidesz is unlikely to get a two-thirds majority at this election

“A Fidesz two thirds majority is out of the question, it can’t be what it was four years ago,” – Anna Donath, leader of one of the united opposition parties.

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