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Photo: “Budapest: Hungarian Parliament“, by Jorge Franganillo licensed under CC BY 2.0. Hue modified from the original.

Maškarinec, Pavel, and Jakub Charvát. “On the Way to Limited Competitiveness: Political Consequences of the 2011 Electoral Reform in Hungary.” Swiss Political Science Review (2022).


This article tests the effects of a new electoral system in Hungary that was introduced by the governing FIDESZ party in 2011. We are especially concerned with the shape of single-member district (SMD) level electoral competition following a significant transformation that tends to be viewed as serving FIDESZ’s goal of preserving its constitutional majority. The results show not only transformation of Hungarian electoral politics between 2010 and 2018 elections but also the fact that the return of bipolarization is far from reality in Hungarian electoral politics. On one hand, the reform resulted in an increased number of districts with clear dominance of the two strongest parties nationally, but on the other hand, this trend was connected to asymmetrical bipartism, with clear advantage of the FIDESZ. Furthermore, there was a persistently high number of SMDs where the competition took place between the FIDESZ and one of the third-place parties.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.