Hungary’s ruling conservative Fidesz party largely maintained its dominant position at this year’s municipal elections, but lost the capital to previous 14th district mayor Gergely Karácsony, who beat incumbent István Tarlós, the metropolitan mayor who has served since 2010.
These were Hungary’s eighth municipal elections since the 1990 regime change and brought the third highest turnout of just under 50 percent, meaning that about four million of Hungary’s 8.02 million eligible voters cast their ballot.
Fidesz also kept its majority in all 19 county assemblies but lost it in Budapest, which is a separate constituency outside of the county system.
Among the country’s ten largest regional cities, a Fidesz mayor will continue to serve in six of them, including the largest regional town of Debrecen, compared with nine out of those ten, major mayoral positions won in 2014. Out of Budapest’s 23 districts, Fidesz mayor will remain in the two largest ones – whose combined population exceeds that of Debrecen – but overall had to concede nine districts, with 15 that will for the next five-year cycle be led by opposition candidates (and one independent).
Looking at all the mayoral positions nationwide, Fidesz will have 518 mayors compared with 37 opposition or independent ones.
Most of the above results are based on preliminary or partial data at the time of writing, so slight changes may occur when the final tally has been made.