election 2024

Tisza sweeps disappointed opposition – we show how many votes each party lost

The question on everyone’s lips: which parties lost how many voters to the disrupting Tisza in the June 9 elections? How big will Tisza grow – if it grows at all? Unsurprisingly, misperceptions and misinformation abound. The data, however, cuts through the fog.

In comparison to two years ago, Fidesz lost voters in almost every county, although to a lesser extent when the change is measured in terms of vote share. The left-wing, in contrast, lost big on both counts. Mi Hazank and MKKP barely lost any voters – none at all, essentially – and their numbers stayed the same or improved across counties.

This is balanced out by Tisza’s sudden surge forward. But whose voters flocked to the new party, and which ones remained?

The Hungarian political landscape in short

At this point, it is perhaps best to write as little as possible about Fidesz’ domination. We get it – he’s there. His presence looms.

Orbán was challenged in the 2022 parliamentary elections by outsider Péter Márki-Zay, but it was all for nothing – the mayor lost, and lost badly despite the broad and frankly bizarre coalition behind him.

A new challenger appeared after the pro-child protection Fidesz was embroiled in a paedophile pardoning scandal, and the challenge came from an unlikely source – the Justice Minister’s ex-husband Péter Magyar. He campaigned on anti-corruption and better living standards, which are two issues that have doggedly followed Fidesz around for years. The former Fidesz insider joined the Tisza party to run in the EP elections, and the party’s popularity skyrocketed with his emergence.

Magyar ran as first on the party list for the relatively young party to represent, according to them, a sort of centrist third way for a country deeply divided between two big camps. His rhetoric has been anti-Fidesz, but his previous life as a Fidesz insider grants him credibility with conservative supporters that PMZ did not have, while his rural focus could give him access to a perennially underrepresented area – opposition tends to concentrate in Budapest.

The usual opposition has been faring no better than before. MSZP is dwindling, Momentum is stagnant – and have lost much support to Tisza. The Kétfarkú Kutya Party – Two-Tailed Dog Party – polled at five percent before the EP elections.


Some of Fidesz’ future policies are also under question – their attitudes towards the EU, for one, and their close ties with China and Russia.

Active and passive Fidesz supporters, swing opposition voters

After calculating the vote change in each county, it becomes clear that much of Tisza’s vote share came from flocking left-wing voters. Of Fidesz’ robust rural support, almost a fourth stayed home – although this is not surprising, given that EP elections tend to have lower turnouts.


The number of Orban voters who turned to Tisza was statistically insignificant, which means that Tisza’s vote base is almost identical to the coalition’s supporters. The country remains polarized between pro- and anti-Orbanists.


This is supported by data collected in Budapest – two years ago, the coalition received 458,840 votes in total, and this year, if the coalition and Tisza votes are aggregated, they add up to 442,086. The opposition votes are being split.

Voter shifts

Based on small- and medium-sized settlements where the county assembly lists did not have Tisza and the EP lists did, we can deduce which parties Tisza voters opted for when Tisza was not an option. We can also see which voters switched, and where they generally landed.


Mi Hazánk could not retain half of its county voters for the EP vote, and the left had to give up even more. Around 80 percent of Momentum’s county assembly voters left them for the EP. Only 5 percent of Fidesz voters voted for another party in the EP elections. In settlements without left-wing candidates or independents, Mi Hazánk’s support usually jumps – although this time around, these voters flocked largely to Tisza.

Fejér was the only county where the Kétfarkú Kutya Party set up a list, and they reached 11.6 percent. Around 1 percent of Tisza supporters voted for the MKKP or no one if Tisza was not present.


So who votes for Tisza?

In regular elections, the proportion of invalid votes is around one percent. It was many times higher than that this time.

From comparing the county and adjusted EP list invalid votes, it can be precisely determined how many were in non-county-seat rural settlements who voted invalidly in the absence of Tisza – the hardcore Tisza supporters. The number reaches 55,763 voters. Extrapolated nationally, it could be around 90,000 people, but MKKP did not set up a list in 18 out of 19 places, so if we deduce from the Fejér county dynamics, the most committed Tisza supporters are about 50-60,000 people.


Disillusioned Fidesz voters remain more mythical than anything else – yet to be seen, really. Disillusioned opposition voters, on the other hand, are abundant – cross-voting accounted for anywhere between 40 and 80 percent of the municipal voters.


Despite the anti-DK rhetoric from Tisza, there were still nearly two hundred thousand voters who voted for both the DK-led left and Tisza in June. Meanwhile, Mi Hazánk registered 233,000 voters who voted differently in the EP list compared to the county list. However, the main difference compared to DK is that Mi Hazánk retained its support acquired in the parliamentary elections. These are people who presumably voted for the coalition list in 2022, increasingly sympathized with Mi Hazánk over time, and then returned to a larger opposition party. In other words, Tisza syphoned votes from the left and prevented Mi Hazánk (and MKKP) from growing significantly in 2024.

Translated by Vanda Mayer. The original, more detailed Hungarian version of this story was written by András Hont and can be found here.