Hungarian referendum declared invalid — An embarrassing defeat for Viktor Orbán

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s anti-migrant referendum proved to be the first major defeat suffered by Fidesz in a decade. Fidesz has won every election and referendum since fall 2006, including the 2006 municipal and regional elections, the 2008 referendum calling for the elimination of compulsory medical fees and university tuition, as well as the 2010 and the 2014 parliamentary and regional elections. Mr. Orbán’s winning streak, however, has come to a halt.

The national referendum on EU “migrant quotes” for Hungary has been declared invalid, after turnout fell well below the minimum threshold of 50% plus 1. With 95% of ballots processed, here are the results:

  • The proportion of voters who cast valid ballots stands at: 39.72%.
  • NO: 98%
  • YES: 2%
  • In Budapest, 11% of the ballots were spoiled.
  • In Budapest’s 13th District, 16% of the ballots were spoiled.
  • In Budapest’s 5th District, 15% of the ballots were spoiled.
  • Nationally, 6% of all ballots were spoiled by voters.

The satirical Two Tailed Dog Party ran a very visible campaign calling on voters to spoil their ballots. In Budapest, the party was clearly successful in getting its message out.

Turn-out in Budapest and in the 19 counties. Turn-out was below fifty percent in 18 out of 19 counties and also in Budapest. Illustration: National Election Office.

Turn-out in Budapest and in the 19 counties. Turn-out was below fifty percent in 18 out of 19 counties and also in Budapest. Illustration: National Election Office.

The Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), the Democratic Coalition (DK), the Együtt (Together) party and Dialogue for Hungary (PM) all called on Hungarians to boycott a referendum, which stood on a very tenuous legal premise and which was little more than a propaganda exercise and political red herring: creating fear and the threat perception about scores of migrants would be forcibly settled in Hungary by the European Union, in order to deflect attention from domestic ills, such as the country’s crumbling public health care and public education system, or the severe shortage of workers in many sectors of the economy.

Gyula Molnár, President of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), declared that today’s referendum proves that it is possible to defeat Fidesz and Prime Minister Orbán at the ballot box.

“Let “no” be our slogan until the elections in 2018–let us say ‘no’ to the continuation of Fidesz rule,” declared Mr. Molnár, adding: “Starting October 3rd, we will build a coalition from the majority of Hungarians who are society’s losers when this government is in power.”

Mr. Molnár emphasised that in order to beat Fidesz in 2018, the pro-democracy parties must field a single candidate in each riding. He then added that Hungary needs a new constitution, new election laws and a new media law.

Former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, who leads the Democratic Coalition, called on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to resign, after it became clear that the referendum is invalid.

“We won. Not a little, but a lot. Viktor Orbán’s referendum is invalid and with this Hungary and the democratic opposition have achieved an unarguable victory against Fidesz and the Orbán government. After such an undeniable defeat, the prime minister of any normal, democratic country, must resign tonight,” said Mr. Gyurcsány.  “The left has waited for a real victory for the past ten years, and today this has finally happened,” he added. Mr. Gyurcsány noted that he would seek to begin formal negotiations with pro-democracy parties to run as a single, united pro-democracy coalition in the 2018 national elections.

Fidesz is trying hard to cast the result as a victory for the government. Gergely Gulyás, deputy leader of the Fidesz caucus in Parliament, tried to look on the bright side: he emphasised that more people voted “no” to EU migrant quotas than those who voted to join the European Union in a referendum held in 2003.

“The result is a staggering victory for all those who oppose limitless forced settlement of migrants and for all those who believe that the European Union’s foundations must be built on the principle of strong nation states,” said Mr. Gulyás, as he tried to explain away the uncomfortable defeat.

16 Comments

  1. Pingback: Xenofobenreferendum in Hongarije nederlaag voor Orbán en Fidesz | Krapuul

  2. András B. Göllner says:

    Congratulations to two-thirds of Hungary’s voters, who did not fall for Orbán’s newest affinity fraud, did not take his sugar coated bait, that would have turned Hungary into the EU’s first government led anti-refugee hate-camp. If only Hungary could also produce a democratic political force that knows how to organize and manage a competitive national political party, and convert the public’s disenchantment with Europe’s most corrupt regime, into a parliamentary victory.

    • The 2/3 of voters voted Fidesz or Jobbik in 2014 and the same will happen at next year elections, the people don’t want your refugees and you won’t be able to do anything about it, but well how can an upper class leftist expact living in the Netherlands knew about the average folk opinion in Hungary ?

      Even in your “””progressive””” West people protest against the relocation of refugies in their city, each time a referenda is held about it the people vote NO.

      Remember the facts, 90% of people voted AGAINST immigrants and the rest of the country would have voted the same way, if really hungarians would have been in favor of the relocation they would have voted for it very massively to show the extent of their opposition, since this hypothesis didn’t happened one must really retarded to belive that the people are in favor of immigration.

      Even the socialists said they oppose this relocation it’s quite telling isn’t it ? But the fact that the left choose to cowardly hide itself among non voters instead of fighting for their views and campaign in favor of immigration because they know too much that only fringe groups support these ideas.

      Appart from the Budapest Bourgeoisie no people are in favor of immigration, how an upper class liberal like you could ever know about the opinions of the working class ( aka the majority )? You don’t even live in Hungary so stop claiming to know any thing about the majority opinions.

  3. Pingback: Viktor Orbán will disregard referendum result — Announces immediate constitutional amendment

  4. Sorry to nitpick but Fidesz endured quite a bad defeat in February 2015, when it lost the Veszprem byelection to a left-wing independent, losing its supermajority in parliament as a result.

  5. Congratulation Hungary! Will this lead to fall of Viktor Orban, time will tell, though. #MigrantsWelcome

    • You already said this kind of thing when some people rioted against the so called internet tax and nothing happend afterwards…

      Mate, nobody want your refugees in Hungary or anywhere else in Europe, if the good people of Hungary were in favor of relocating immigrants in their country they would have voted for it yet a solid 90% voted AGAINST this.

  6. What will Hungary or any other country gain by bringing in these “refugees”. Relocating the middle east to Europe is not the answer.

  7. “What will Hungary or any other country gain by bringing in these “refugees”.”

    Wrong question, I would ask what Hungary loses and risks with accepting the quotas and allowing the unemployable, the leftover and the possible terrorist that Germany’s Merkel wants to send to Hungary after careful filtering and only keeping the usable cream. They don’t even come on their own, they don’t want to live in Hungary they are the illegal migrants come on practical expulsion order by Germany. That’s it. That’s it all.

    Hungary can lose her very own existence submitting herself to the autocrat Germany and EU by accepting the quotas especially after Merkel and the EU obviously failed immigration policy.

    In my very personal opinion; knowingly dumping these migrants, exporting this big and dangerous trouble to smaller and weaker defenseless EU states after their another failure to keep them in Turkey or to send them back home is a crime and supporting it is complicity.

    • Correction: ….knowingly dumping these migrants after Merkel’s invitation of “open door” policy and then following her failure her shaking off responsibility like a dog shaking off water by “generously” and aggressively exporting this big and dangerous….

  8. Pingback: Referendum in Hungary not binding | | Central European Financial Observer

  9. I don’t think this is an embarrassing defeat for Orban, I think it is embarrassing that so many in Budapest are clueless as to the implications and repercussions of letting these people in. They do not share the same values and let’s be honest, Hungary did not fare very well from the Ottoman occupation either. The spoiled ballots and people who cast them are a disgrace to the country and their actions are a travesty. My message to them would be: You take them! and keep taking them! You support them, you teach them, you integrate them. Until then, keep them out as long as possible.

    My full support to Orban, keep doing what you are doing in keeping the country safe and out of the hands of these people. Migrants NOT welcome!

  10. András B. Göllner says:

    @ Dan

    That’s a great Hungarian name !

    Let’s clarify something for the readers, Dan. The people who spoiled their ballots on October 2nd did not do so, in order to tell the world, they want their towns and cities overrun by Muslim terrorists. They spoiled their ballots, and/or boycotted this sham-referendum, in order to tell you and your hero, Orbán, that they disagree with the hate-campaign, that prejudices ALL refugees from war torn areas of the Middle East, as good-for-nothing terrorists. They boycotted this referendum, because they did not want to be part of a racist campaign of hatred against non-white, non-Christian refugees. They boycotted this campaign, because they did not want their nation to be identified as the first country in the 21st century, to declare war on those who are escaping war, persecution and violence in their homeland.

    Nobody in their right mind would ask Hungary to throw its borders wide open, and accept anyone who happens to come knocking. There has to be an orderly, and humane immigration policy there as there is, say in Canada. Instead of working towards that goal, Mr Orbán decided to use masses of public funds to demonize refugees. You should listen to the words of the more than 20 civil-society groups that had this to say about your hero’s disgraceful conduct:

    „This government is inciting hatred against refugees that will further weaken the already shattered social solidarity in our country. The government wants to create creatures who decide about public matters and the fate of others based on our worst instincts. Instead of informing people, the government seeks to eliminate the possibility of free citizens making rational, fact-based decisions. This referendum is incompatible with the concept of human rights.”

    On October 2nd two-thirds of those who were eligible to vote, agreed with the above assessment. You are in a minority Dan.

    • LOL you are the minority mate, if the people of Hungary agreed with your kind they would have spoiled their ballot or they would have voted yes in majorty, yet they either voted no either they didn’t come to vote, not voting and being pro immigration are two differents matters, if you are not able to understand this then you have a problem.

      If you were as smart as you claim you would knew that at least 35-40% of people in Hungary don’t vote at ANY elections, and this number only increase when it’s about local or european elections, the referenda in the last 15 year never had more than 48% of turn out.

      So you have at least one third of people who don’t care about democracy to the point of never voting at all, then you have the people who don’t came because they already knew the results and didn’t bothered to come because they consider referendas as a waste of time, and then you’ve got the minority of leftists voters who didn’t came because their party said so.

      No you don’t have any kind of majority in any country in Eastern or Western Europe, you only need to see the results of immigration related referendas in Switzerland to see how much a minority YOU are.

      This is funny to see that each time the left lose massively while the abstention is high they always think that the people who didn’t vote are all in favor of their deluded opinions… One has only to see the reactions of the left to Brexit or to the french local polls, which show the left being obliterated into oblivion.

      This time something like 90% of voters voted AGAINST your immigration opinions( you’ve got this result when counting the no voters, the yes voters and the edgy people who spoiled their ballots), this amount of rejection is too big to be logically a minority view, if really the hungarian were in favor of immigration they would have voted for it in a much bigger scale yet they didn’t do it.

      Beside it’s quite telling that even the socialist party is against immigration, they fear to lose even more vote if they start supporting this relocation thing.

      Really mate you should stop deluding yourself , the hungarians are not a bunch of upper class liberlas like you, last time there were some elections in Hungary the people voted for Fidesz or Jobbik at a rate of 2/3 of voters.

      The good people of Hungary are not stupid enough to vote for a Trudeau like immigration policy because they are patriots and not some kind of cosmopolitan traitors who prefer immigrants than fellow countrymen.

      This is ironic that you are talking about your views being the majority opinion while the liberals fled like rats instead of fighting for their views, if you really think hungarians are in favor of welcoming these immigrants then tell me why the left called for a boycott instead of voting to show their strength ? Yes it’s because they know how much a minority they are and they would never be able to win this fight, so instead of fighting for their opinions in an honorable way they choose to hide like cowards, leftist are weak to the point they can’t even defend their opinions themselves.

      I will repeat one more time, even if 52% of voters would have shown off the results would have been the same, because as I said earlier the people voted AGAINST immigration to such a scale it’s not statistically possible that the rest of the society don’t think the same thing.

      If the good people of Hungary had the same opinions as you they would either spoiled their ballots or voted yes in a bigger number than the non voters, this didn’t happend because the people of hungary don’t want your immigrants to come to their country.

      You know I’m right, and you know that next time elections will be held the overwhelming majority will once again vote for Fidesz or Jobbik, the fun fact lie is that even Jobbik have greater chances to rule Hungary in 2018 than your leftists idols because as I said numerous time in this post the good people of Hungry are sane minded people and patriots,

      YOU are the minority so you should deal with the fact that only fringe groups would support the welcoming of immigrants in Hungary and your life will be easier. You are now in complete denial of realities, you should stop deluding yourself about thinking that people would have voted in a different way if the turn out would have been higher because not only this isn’t true but it’s not even logical at all.

      PS: What you call human rights isn’t logical at all, it’s only an ideology, the rational thing is to defend one interests instead of caring about illegal aliens, the rational thing is to defend one kin instead of defending foreigners. Stop using words you don’t know the meaning and maybe you will look more intelligent.

  11. András B. Göllner says:

    @ Sobieski

    Sobie ! If you want to be taken seriously, cut the crap. We don’t communicate with windbags. Dig ?

  12. @Andras

    Thank you for responding to my post. As is with many things in life, we can agree to disagree. Thank you for the “clarification”, but this sounds to me like typical liberal democrat jargon. Playing the “war, persecution, and violence in their homeland” card is at times a “broken record”.

    You stated that “Nobody in their right mind would ask Hungary to throw its borders wide open, and accept anyone who happens to come knocking”, but this is essentially what Merkel did irresponsibly when she placed an open invitation on the table. Germany is not next door neighbor with Syria and that region of the world. She invited these migrants illegally and without proper documentation to trek across Europe, basically ignoring any law or border that might stand in their way, and simply land in Germany or other country with a “strong social welfare system”. Might I remind you, we are not talking a bus load of people, we are talking mass migration of MILLIONS of people. I’d like to know what the German people think of this once they get the bill, and I am sure Germany has no homeless population either who need their own attention.

    Another thing, you mention the humanitarian aspect. Yes, this in theory makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and I agree, it is important to help people. But this is not realistic. I remember watching a press conference held by the V4 and a reporter from reuters attacked Orban and stated it is inhumane to deal with the refugees in such fashion. Let them all in and figure it out later… right. Humanitarian or not, this does not seem like a good idea.

    FYI, the “hatred” you mention I wouldn’t consider to be incited by Orban. These are facts. Attacks by military aged Syrian(and other nationality) refugee males on White Christian Europeans have skyrocketed. I have family and friends male and female living in Germany and Hungary. They know first hand how these men act. My buddy in Hungary is a policeman and serving on the front lines on the Serbian border. He is sickened by reports given by CNN and other media outlets where they are being shamed for “beating” the refugees. He is constantly harassed, taunted, spit at, kicked by these refugees. The refugees are not willing to cooperate, they discard identity documents given to them, refuse to register into the Shengen.

    A girlfriend in Hungary also repeatedly complained that she was harassed and feared going out at night.

    A family member studies in Karlsruhe and also states how he fears his well-being.

    Now of course, this is no more than hear-say for you as you have to take my word for it, but what I am trying to illustrate is that these activities which are generally acceptable behavior for these people can be a threat to us. The women and children who can potentially assimilate and integrate peacefully may have a chance, the males are of serious concern however.

    Let us also not forget the victims of the atrocities these people Merkel invited have committed. While the idiot yelling “god is great” before killing as many as they can, what happens to the innocents? This brings me to my point of my last post, where I mentioned… you want them, you take them. Would you invite someone into your home whom you know nothing about? There have been numerous stories in the news of Germans who originally felt “humanitarian”, invited these people in, and were so disillusioned by their despicable behavior, they no longer were willing to accept any more. I recently read many Germans were in fact fleeing their country to go to Hungary to get away from the migrants… so I guess, thank you for that, might do well for Hungarian real estate market.

    Whether I am the minority or not is open to interpretation. You will of course say this of me, as will I of you. You might remember Gyurcsany and his famous Balatonoszod speech for which he almost resigned and now he wants to come back with the socialist agenda.

    I do appreciate your response however. Fundamentally, I believe both sides have views that are in the right and some that are points to contest. Orban did take a hard stance on this, but I also think this was necessary. Sometimes you really have to take a hardline approach to get people to take a step back and think about what is going on…

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