European elections in 2019 in Hungary

A political comment on the current political landscape in Hungary. 

Parties and campaign slogan

Here is a list of the nine registered Hungarian parties participating in the 26 May 2019 EP elections — their main campaign slogans.

1. MSZP-PÁRBESZÉD (Coalition of Hungarian Socialist Party and Dialogue) Registered at the National Election Office on 22 April 2019 – 48 candidates
Social Europe, patriotism, environmental protection, opposition to Nuclear Power Plant Paks II. Single European Minimum Wage and Minimum Pension. Unfortunately, the campaign against Ukrainian guest workers is also under way.

2. MKKP (Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party) Registered on 22 April 2019 – 6 candidates
This is a satirical, frivolous party, making jokes

3. JOBBIK (Movement for a Better Hungary) Registered on 22 April 2019 – 21 candidates
Action against Roma, halting migration

4. FIDESZ-KDNP (Coalition of Civic Alliance of Young Democrats and Christian Democratic People`s Party) Registered on 22 April 2019 – 63 candidates
Stop Brussels and migration, protect Christian Europe. With exception of Fidesz every party supports joining the European Public Prosecutor’s Office.

5.  MOMENTUM  Registered on 22 April 2019  – 21 candidates
European Union money is to be spent on hospitals, schools and roads. 

6. DK (Democratic Coalition) Registered on 22 April 2019 – 36 candidates
European United States, European pensions. Anti-corruption action.

7. MI HAZÁNK (Our Homeland) Registered on 16 April 2019 – 63 candidates
Action against Roma, halting migration. 

8. MUNKÁSPÁRT (Workers Party)  Registered on 28 April 2019 – 5 candidates
Decent wages, secure predictable life, Hungarian agriculture, a Europe free of migrants! 

9. LMP (Politics Can Be Different) Registered on 22 April 2019 – 28 candidates
It supports joining the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, made green proposals, action against Nuclear Power Plant Paks II. Except Fidesz every party supports joining the European Public Prosecuter’s Office.


More about the campaign

The Hungarian member of the Party of the European Left, the Workers’ Party 2006, is not running for the EP this time. Instead they call to vote for the Socialist party, MSZP (S&D) which is projected to gain 11% and 3 seats.Read here in English the cooperation agreement on the election campaign between the two parties with a focus on energy strategy.

Poster: Attila Vajnaj, chairman of Workers’ Party 2006 (left) and Tibor Szanyi, MEP of Socialist Party MSZP (right). Source: Attila Vajnaj. Call for “Red lines in Europe. Flash mob in Budapest on 25 May. We draw red lines against: Corruption, Energy Poverty, Climate Domino” And at picture bottom: VOTE FOR THE LEFT!


The Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán launched Fidesz’s campaign for the 2019 European Parliamentary elections at the party’s official event held in Budapest in early April 2019. Orbán started his speech by responding to his party’s recent feud with its European political group, the European People’s Party and he said that their future cooperation depends on which way the group turns, and if it turns to the left, and towards the construction of a “Liberal European Empire”, then Fidesz will not follow them down that path. Orbán said he understands the voices urging them to quit the EPP, but he called for patience.

Orbán talked about Manfred Weber as well, and said it’s incomprehensible why they are in such good graces with socialist Frans Timmermans, who wants to “bring in migrants” and „destroy Christian culture”. Orbán has withdrawn his backing for Weber for the post of president of the EU Commission for the EPP after Orbán claimed that Weber repeatedly insulted Hungary. Orbán said he would not back the EPP’s Spitzenkandidat, to lead the EU Commission, if Weber refused to support Hungary’s ruling party.

Orbán repeated his previous theory about the new political divide of Europe, saying politics is no longer about left or right, but pro- or anti-migration, as there are those who want to protect the Christian culture and those who push for a multicultural Europe.

Orbán talked also about his other theory, presented of course as facts – he stated that the “Brussels elite” want to create the United States of Europe, but this plan cannot be executed as long as there are strong nation-states, therefore they want to replace the population of Europe with migrants to destroy Europe’s Christian culture and weaken the nation-states. He said Europe is struggling with a cultural divide and identity issues, and the Brussels elite are threatening dissenters with financial retributions.

Orbán listed a number of results from public opinion surveys conducted by Fidesz think-tank Századvég, saying 80% of Hungarians want  to protect Christian culture, and that a majority, 55% of Western Europeans want the same – “even if that number includes migrants”, he added. He also said that Hungarians want a strong Europe, but they have had enough of the state of affairs in Brussels – Orbán thinks all conflicts with the EU stem from the fact that Hungarians are “not willing to act the way Brussels dictates.”

Finally, Orbán announced his seven-step program to save Christian civilisation:

    • 1. The issue of migration shall be taken away from Brussels and handed over to the nation-states,
    • 2. No country shall be obliged to accept migrants, 
    • 3. Nobody shall be allowed to enter Europe without valid documentation, 
    • 4. Migrant-cards and migrant-visas shall be abolished, 
    • 5. Brussels shall stop funding migration-aiding Soros-NGOs, 
    • 6. Nobody shall be reprimanded for being Christian in Europe, 
    • 7. All EU institutions shall be led by anti-immigration leaders.

Thanks to the political system Orbán began building in 2010, his position is rock solid. As things stand now, his party will most likely receive at least 13 of the 21 European parliamentary seats. His regime’s only task is to minimise the damage caused by the Strache scandal by talking as little as possible about the Hungarian aspects of the case and spinning the events surrounding it in a way that actually strengthens the Hungarian government’s campaign slogans.

Fidesz’s ruling alliance with the Christian Democrats is on course for a bigger win than five years ago in Sunday’s European Parliament (EP) election, according to a survey by Nézőpont. The Democratic Coalition (DK), Jobbik and Socialist-Párbeszéd alliance are in a dead heat for second place, according to the poll commissioned by the daily Magyar Nemzet and published on Tuesday. The Fidesz-led alliance is likely to get 54 percent of the vote in the EP election, handing it 13 seats, one more than it already possesses. Second place is currently tied, with DK, Jobbik and Socialist-Párbeszéd expecting 10 percent, handing the parties 2 seats each. With a participation rate of 32 percent, Momentum and LMP may also end up each with an MEP, with 6 percent and 5 percent support respectively, according to the survey conducted between May 2 and 19 with 4,000 personal interviews.

Based on the data provided by the conducted surveys, the Fidesz-KDNP position in the Hungarian political landscape is very strong, the new political initiatives of the opposition to change the course of the political discourse were not successful. (The latest initiative of the opposition is to focus on the eviction of those families who were not able to pay the mortgages, seems to be an unsuccessful attempt to influence the voters.) At the same time, it can be added that the Fidesz-KDNP political campaign – based on the provided data – is able to attract and mobilise the voters, though we can also add that the long-term political strategy of the ruling party is more complex and multilayered than one would believe by only focusing on the campaign. At this point, the interview with Orbán is worth noting since he underlined other points as well. By referring to the importance of family and culture, he broadens the view and makes the Hungarian point of view on migration more understandable. The dispute about the top candidate of the European People’s Party is definitely not about the person himself but the future role of the European Commission since new initiatives emerged in the media in recent weeks that pushed for a revision of the Treaty on the European Union. At this point, it can be underlined that every external shock (such as the global financial crisis 2008-2009, the ensuing eurozone crisis starting in 2010, and the migration crisis in 2015) would require a recalibration of the way how the European Union and its institutions work. Until now only partial amendments were made by the EU members, but now the time seems to be right to carry output the needed reforms.

Hungarian philosopher G.M.Tamás main message in the article he has just published on news portal reads: among the registered Hungarian parties we do not have any acceptable political formation concerning the European elections, so we do not vote or give a vote to any of them. This latter option is immediately out of question if we consider that only “Fidesz-KDNP” coalition, or Orbán’s party-state apparatus, would be supported by the votes cast on the parties not reaching the necessary 5 percent threshold. Out of this latter option even non-voting, or abstaining from voting is “more useful”- he said. Then, he continued, “as we know, the opposition in Hungary is pitiable. But with the exception of Jobbik we can vote for one of the moderate-minded bourgeois parties, although I can’t disapprove if anyone is doing so.”

Cover photo: Attila Vajnaj, chairman of Workers’ Party 2006 (second from left) and Tibor Szanyi, MEP of Socialist Party (right). Source: Attila Vajnaj