Well, I thought that I would be able to give definitive news on the results of the Hungarian elections by 2 p.m. EST, but there was quite a bit of delay thanks to last-minute voters in certain electoral districts. I still have no idea exactly what happened, but just before the polls were scheduled to close at 7 p.m. in Hungary long lines developed. Naturally, conspiracy theories abound.
The major reason for the clog in the system was that Hungarian election law doesn't permit absentee ballots. Instead, voters who will not be in the district where they officially reside on election day can vote elsewhere if they get an authorizing piece of paper from their local election committee. Apparently processing these voters is time consuming. According to information I received there were about 60,000 voters in this situation, mostly college students who wanted to vote in the city where their university is located. And many of them waited until the last minute to show up at the polls.
The problem was that the lines were so long that they were unable to vote for hours after the polls should have closed, and the National Election Committee decided to extend the campaign silence until all of the stragglers voted. The media's election coverage was shut down, and the only thing reporters and their high-level guests could talk about was the decision of the National Election Committee. Eventually, when about 99% of the ballots had been counted, the Committee decided to lift the campaign silence.
The results were not terribly surprising: Fidesz won with 52.77% after the first round, which translates into 206 seats out of a total of 386. So Fidesz has achieved an absolute majority. Whether the party will receive the much desired two-thirds majority is still undecided and uncertain. We will know the answer in two weeks after the second round of voting when there will be a runoff in all districts where no candidate received more than 50% of the votes.
MSZP ended up second with 19.29% of the votes followed by Jobbik with 16.71%. Pretty devastating. LMP's showing was surprisingly strong: 7.42%. Unfortunately MDF didn't get into parliament. Ibolya Dávid, chairman of the party, promptly resigned. I think that MDF's involvement with the remnant of SZDSZ was a serious mistake. I'm really sorry about the failure of MDF because I think that Hungary badly needs a geniunely conservative party.
A more in-depth analysis of the results must wait until tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.