LMP – Hungary's Green Party

LMP – Hungary's Green Party (Hungarian: LMP – Magyarország Zöld Pártja, Greens, between 2009 and 2020: Politics Can Be Different, Hungarian: Lehet Más a Politika, LMP) is a green-liberal[6][7][8] political party in Hungary. Founded in 2009, it was one of four parties to win seats in the National Assembly in the 2010 parliamentary election. The party is a member of the European Green Party.

LMP – Hungary's Green Party
LMP – Magyarország Zöld Pártja
Co-PresidentsMáté Kanász-Nagy
Erzsébet Schmuck
Parliamentary leaderLászló Lóránt Keresztes
Founded26 February 2009
Headquarters1136 Budapest, Hegedűs Gyula u. 36.
Youth wingThe Future Can Be Different[1]
IdeologyGreen liberalism[2][3]
Syncretic politics[4]
Political positionCentre-left[5]
National affiliationUnited for Hungary
European affiliationEuropean Green Party
International affiliationGlobal Greens
European Parliament groupGreens–European Free Alliance
Colours  Green
National Assembly
5 / 199
European Parliament
0 / 21
County Assemblies
6 / 381
Party flag
Flag of the Politics Can Be Different (2009-2014).svg


Former logo

Foundation and electoral successEdit

The party was preceded by a non-governmental organization social initiative founded in 2008, with the purpose of reforming Hungarian politics.[9] LMP shares common ideologies with most green parties. Key issues are environmental protection, sustainable development and the fight against corruption in the current political elite. LMP highlights what they see as the pointlessness of the current partisan division between the left and right-wing forces, and their principle is deliberative democracy, which they believe decreases the distance between the people and the political elite.

The public faces of the organization were András Schiffer, a former member of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) and Védegylet, and Bernadett Szél, an economist and NGO worker at the party's formation. The leading figures also included Benedek Jávor, university professor in environmental law and a founder of Védegylet, Gábor Scheiring, an economist, and Tímea Szabó, a humanitarian worker, who was to head the list presented for the 2009 European Parliament elections. In 2009, LMP received the official endorsement of the European Green Party.[10]

At the 2009 European Parliament elections the party garnered 75,522 votes, (or 2.61% of the total votes), which was less than the 5% needed to gain a seat for the 2009–2014 cycle, though beating the 2.16% received by Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ), one of the parties already in the national parliament.[11]

In the 2010 parliamentary elections, the party achieved 7.48% in the first electoral round, thereby clearing the 5 percent electoral threshold, gaining 16 seats in the parliament, though it did not obtain any direct-representational seats.[12] In the local elections of 3 October 2010, LMP gained 54 seats in local city councils, with at least one representative in most of the district councils of the capital, three seats in the General Assembly of Budapest, as well as in a few other cities around the country. Gábor Ivády was the only party member to be elected mayor of a town; however he left LMP on 21 October 2010.[13]

Since its establishment and 2010 national election, LMP was kept under pressure by the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) to achieve some kind of electoral compromise and cooperation against Viktor Orbán's controversial government. For instance, during the by-election in the 2nd District of Budapest in 2011, MSZP urged the LMP's candidate Gergely Karácsony to withdraw in Katalin Lévai's favor, but the Green party did not do this.[14] The leadership of the LMP positioned the party to the centre, and, as a newcomer, rejected both Fidesz and MSZP's politics. András Schiffer also criticized the previous Socialist cabinets, blaming Ferenc Gyurcsány's disastrous governance for having Fidesz won a two-thirds majority in 2010.[15] However prominent politicians in LMP were divided on the issue of cooperation. In July 2011, Karácsony proposed an election coalition between Jobbik, LMP and MSZP, to change certain laws enacted by Fidesz. He cited Éva Tétényi's case, as a precedent of how such a proposal could work.[16] Politics Can Be Different became a full member of the European Green Party (EGP) in November 2011.[17]

Party splitEdit

During the party's congress in November 2012, LMP decided not to join Together 2014, the planned electoral alliance of opposition parties and movements led by Gordon Bajnai. As a result, Benedek Jávor, a proponent of the agreement, resigned from his position of parliamentary group leader.[18] Jávor and his supporters (including Tímea Szabó and Gergely Karácsony) founded a platform within the party, called "Dialogue for Hungary" on 26 November 2012. The platform argued in favour of conclusion of an electoral agreement with Bajnai's movement to replace "Orbán's regime".[19] Later that day Schiffer, who did not support the cooperation with Bajnai, was elected leader of the LMP parliamentary group for second time.[20]

In January 2013, the LMP's congress rejected again the electoral cooperation with other opposition parties, including Together 2014.[21] As a result, members of the party's "Dialogue for Hungary" platform left LMP to form a new political organization. Benedek Jávor announced the eight leaving MPs will not resign from their parliamentary seats. Seven parliamentarians remained in the party, Jávor said negotiations are required for the continued operation of the parliamentary group, according to the house rules, which requires 12 seats. Schiffer did not call the secession as a party split, because, he argued, less than 10% of the LMP's membership decided to leave the party and joined Jávor's new initiative.[22] The leaving MPs established Dialogue for Hungary as an officially registered party in March 2013.[23] After the failed negotiations, the eight MPs also left the parliamentary group which then broken up according to the house rules of the National Assembly.[24]


The 4K! – Fourth Republic! party offered electoral alliance to the LMP. Party leader András Istvánffy called the developments that took place in opposition as "a cleansing process, which will separate those who seek to restore pre-2010 conditions and those who want real regime change."[25] However LMP refused the 4K! party's cooperation offer in September 2013.[26]

Schiffer and Bernadett Szél were elected co-presidents of the LMP during the party's congress on 24 March 2013.[27] The seven MPs of the party were able to re-establish the LMP's caucus on 1 September 2013, after the decision of the Committee on Immunity, Incompatibility and Mandate. The old-new group became the first caucus, where the majority were women, for the first time in Hungary.[28]

Politics Can Be Different received five seats, as it barely jumped over the 5% threshold in the 2014 parliamentary election.[29] The party reached the same result in the 2014 European Parliament election, when it received 5.04% of the votes and sent one representative to the European Parliament. MEP Tamás Meszerics joined The Greens–European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA).[30] In August 2014, LMP and 4K! agreed to a cooperation in some electoral districts in Budapest during the 2014 local elections.[31] The candidate for Budapest mayor, Antal Csárdi, took just fourth place after István Tarlós, Lajos Bokros and Gábor Staudt. The party collected fewer votes with 50,000 than results of four years ago in the whole country. Virtually LMP remained a metropolitan organization, with only an insignificant representation in the countryside.[32] In a different point of view, LMP largely regained the positions, which had been lost during the party split in early 2013, for instance, then all three representatives in the General Assembly of Budapest joined Dialogue for Hungary.[33]

On 18 July 2015, Schiffer and Szél were re-elected co-presidents of the party. Ákos Hadházy, a former Fidesz member, who revealed the government's tobacco shop corruption scandal, was also elected to the LMP's leadership.[34] The party's most well-known politician, Schiffer announced his retirement from politics on 31 May 2016.[35] After the resignation of Erzsébet Schmuck, Szél was elected leader of the LMP parliamentary group on 16 February 2017.[36] In September 2017, Bernadett Szél was nominated the party's candidate to the position of prime minister for the upcoming parliamentary election.[37] In the same month, former socialist MP Márta Demeter joined the LMP's parliamentary group, but she is not member of the party.[38] During that time, Bernadett Szél was nominated the party's candidate to the position of prime minister for the upcoming parliamentary election.[39] In December 2017, Bernadett Szél and György Gémesi agreed, that the Politics Can Be Different and the New Start ran together in the 2018 Hungarian parliamentary election.[40]

Another decline and cooperation with other opposition partiesEdit

In these parliamentary election, LMP won 7.06 per cent of the votes and returned 8 members in the parliament (including one single-member constituency in Budapest). After these elections, internal conflicts led to resignation of Bernadett Szél as party's co-chair. Party's support also declined. For example, the party in 2019 European Parliament election achieved almost identical results as in 2009.

In 2020, the changed its name to the LMP – Hungary's Green Party.


Term Male co-chair Female co-chair
2013–2016 András Schiffer Bernadett Szél
2016–2018 Ákos Hadházy
2018–2019 László Lóránt Keresztes Márta Demeter
2019–2020 János Kendernay Erzsébet Schmuck
2020– Máté Kanász-Nagy

Election resultsEdit

National AssemblyEdit

Election National Assembly Rank Government Leader of the
national list
Votes % ±pp Seats won +/−
2010 383,876 7.48%
16 / 386
New No. 4 in opposition András Schiffer
2014 252,373 5.26%  2.22
5 / 199
  11 No. 4 in opposition András Schiffer
2018 404,422 7.06%  1.8
8 / 199
  3 No. 5 in opposition Bernadett Szél

European ParliamentEdit

Election European Parliament Rank Main candidate Alliance
Votes % ±pp Seats won +/−
20091 75,522 2.61%
0 / 22
New No. 5 Tímea Szabó
2014 116,904 5.04%  2.43
1 / 21
  1 No. 6 Tamás Meszerics   Greens–European Free Alliance (G-EFA)
2019 75,498 2.18%  2.86
0 / 21
  1 No. 8 Gábor Vágó

1 In an electoral alliance with the Humanist Party (HP).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Lehet Más a Jövő – Megalakult az LMP ifjúsági szervezete". 21 December 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Parlamentswahl in Ungarn". Faz.net. 8 April 2018. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  3. ^ Karel Vodička, Günther Heydemann (2013). Vom Ostblock zur EU: Systemtransformationen 1990–2012 im Vergleich. ISBN 9783647369600.
  4. ^ Elek, István (15 January 2014). "Igen, a remény hal meg utoljára". hvg.hu.
  5. ^ "Steht Ungarn vor Wahl-Allianz aus Links und Rechts?". MDR. 29 December 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  6. ^ Igor Guardiancich (2012). Pension Reforms in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe: From Post-Socialist Transition to the Global Financial Crisis. Routledge. p. 94. ISBN 978-1-136-22595-6.
  7. ^ Wayne C. Thompson (2012). Nordic, Central and Southeastern Europe 2012. Stryker Post. p. 389. ISBN 978-1-61048-892-1.
  8. ^ Jan-Henrik Meyer-Sahling; Krisztina Jáger (2012). "Party Patronage in Hungary: Capturing the State". In Petr Kopecký; Peter Mair; Maria Spirova (eds.). Party Patronage and Party Government in European Democracies. Oxford University Press. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-19-959937-0.
  9. ^ The BpSun Staff (28 October 2008). "LMP to garner protest votes". The Budapest Sun. Archived from the original on 11 June 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
  10. ^ Press Release: European Greens Support European Election Campaigns of LMP in Hungary and Zelenite in Bulgaria (EGP News)
  11. ^ "The detailed results of the European Parliamentary elections". 7 June 2009. Archived from the original on 23 August 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  12. ^ "Index – Belföld – Választás – Eredmények". Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  13. ^ Otthagyja a pártot az LMP egyetlen polgármestere Archived 23 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine Hírszerző, 2010. október 20.
  14. ^ "Fidesz candidate cruises to victory in closely-watched Budapest by-election". Politics.hu. 15 November 2011. Archived from the original on 10 June 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  15. ^ "Schiffer nem csókolózott Mesterházyval" (in Hungarian). Index. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  16. ^ Szalay Tamás Lajos (12 July 2011). "Belföld: 'Saját fegyverével kell felszámolni a Fidesz rendszerét' – NOL.hu". NOL.hu. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  17. ^ "Az Európai Zöld Párt teljes jogú tagja lett az LMP" (in Hungarian). Origo. 13 November 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  18. ^ "Beintett Bajnainak az LMP, lemondott Jávor Benedek". 18 November 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  19. ^ "LMP fails to elect new parliamentary group leader as split in party continues". 26 November 2012. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  20. ^ "Ismét Schiffer András az LMP-frakció vezetője". 26 November 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  21. ^ "LMP rejects proposals for new strategy at party congress". 27 January 2013. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  22. ^ "LMP splits over cooperation with Together 2014; caucus may remain intact". 28 January 2013. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  23. ^ "LMP rebels to establish Dialogue for Hungary as a full-fledged party". 4 February 2013. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  24. ^ "Eight breakaway LMP lawmakers to sit as independents". 11 February 2013. Archived from the original on 12 September 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  25. ^ "Small party 4K! seeks alliance with LMP for "regime change"". 7 February 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  26. ^ "A 4K! önállóan indul a jövő évi választásokon". 29 September 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  27. ^ "Szél Bernadett és Schiffer András az LMP két társelnöke" (in Hungarian). Index. 24 March 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  28. ^ "LMP parliamentary group first with female majority in Hungary's history, says leader". 6 September 2013. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  29. ^ "Fidesz wins Hungarian parliamentary election by a landslide". 7 April 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  30. ^ "Kezdődik az MSZP végjátéka". 26 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  31. ^ "Kiteljesedik egy régi liezon, összejön az LMP és a 4K!". 4 August 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  32. ^ "Megmaradt a Fidesz egyeduralma". 13 October 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  33. ^ "Valamit brutálisan elszámolt a baloldal". 13 October 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  34. ^ "A csalódott fideszesekre építene az LMP". 18 July 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  35. ^ "Schiffer András kiszáll a politikából, visszaadja a mandátumát". Heti Világgazdaság (in Hungarian). 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  36. ^ "Szél Bernadett lett az LMP frakcióvezetője" (in Hungarian). Index. 30 January 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  37. ^ "Megvan az LMP miniszterelnök-jelöltje" (in Hungarian). Index. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  38. ^ "Demeter Márta az LMP frakciójában folytatja". Alfahír. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  39. ^ "Megvan az LMP miniszterelnök-jelöltje" (in Hungarian). Index. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  40. ^ Zrt., HVG Kiadó (2 December 2017). "Összeállt az LMP és az Új Kezdet". hvg.hu (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2 December 2017.

External linksEdit