Socialists win first round of Hungarian elections

Hungary’s centre-right government suffered a defeat at the first round of parliamentary elections on 7 April. The opposition Socialist Party took the lead with 41.2 percent of the votes, against 40.3 percent for the joint centre-right list, dominated by the ruling Fidesz party.

The only other party to cross the 5 percent threshold to enter parliament is the Liberal Alliance of Free Democrats with 5.6 percent of the vote.

The Socialists won 94 seats in parliament, Fidesz 87, and the Free Democrats 4.

The Socialists’ candidate for prime minister, Peter Medgyessy, said that he would start negotiations with the Free Democrats on 8 April. The Socialists and the Free Democrats co-operated in a coalition government between 1994 and 1998.

The election results proved wrong the opinion polls that had predicted a victory by the Fidesz party, led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The final result will depend on the elections in individual constituencies on 21 April, where another 201 seats will be distributed. The Socialists also won a clear majority of individual constituencies in the 7 April elections.


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