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The Unity Party (Hungarian: Egységes Párt) was a Hungarian political party founded in 1921.[3] The party was founded by Prime Minister István Bethlen and shortly afterwards won a majority of seats in the Hungarian parliament in the 1922 elections.[4] On 27 October 1932, the party was renamed National Unity Party (Hungarian: Nemzeti Egység Pártja), while since 2 February 1939 the name was Party of Hungarian Life (Hungarian: Magyar Élet Pártja).

Party of Hungarian Life

Magyar Élet Pártja
LeaderGyula Gömbös (1932-1936)
Béla Imrédy (1938-1939)
Miklós Kállay (1942-1944)
Founded2 February 1922 (1922-02-02)
Dissolved23 March 1944 (1944-03-23)
Merger ofKNEP and OKGFP
IdeologySzeged Idea[1][2]
Christian nationalism
Political positionFar-right
Party flag
Flag of Party of National Unity Hungary.svg

The party was sometimes nicknamed "the Government Party," since it was the governing party of Hungary for its entire existence. [5]

The party, initially more agrarian and conservative, grew similar to fascist movements, establishing a militia.[6] The trend toward fascism came under Gyula Gömbös, who was Prime Minister from 1932 to 1936.[5] Gömbös declared the party's intention to achieve "total control of the nation's social life".[7] In the 1935 Hungarian Election, Gömbös promoted the creation of a "unitary Hungarian nation with no class distinctions".[8]

The party won a huge majority of the seats of the Hungarian parliament in the Hungarian election of May 1939.[9] It won 72 percent of the parliament's seats and won 49 percent of the popular vote in the election.[10] This was a major breakthrough for the far-right in Hungary.[10] The party promoted nationalist propaganda and its members sympathized with the Nazi Arrow Cross Party.[10]

A faction of the most pro-Nazi members led by the party's former leader Béla Imrédy split from the party October 1940 to form the Party of Hungarian Renewal (Magyar Megújulás Pártja) that sought to explicitly solve the Jewish Problem.

Electoral resultsEdit

National AssemblyEdit

Election Votes Seats Rank Government Leader
# % ±pp # +/−
1922 623,201 38.2%  38.2
140 / 245
  140 1st Unity Party István Bethlen
1926 482,086 42.2%  4.0
161 / 245
  21 1st Unity Party István Bethlen
1931 603,576 40.0%  2.2
149 / 245
  12 1st Unity Party István Bethlen
1935 879,474 44.6%  4.6
164 / 245
  15 1st Party of National Unity Gyula Gömbös
1939 1,824,573 49.5%  4.9
181 / 245
  17 1st Party of Hungarian Life Pál Teleki


  1. ^ Stanley G. Payne. A history of fascism, 1914-1945. Oxon, England, UK: Routledge, 2005. Pp. 269.
  2. ^ Miklós Lackó. "Arrow-cross men, national socialists, 1935-1944", Studia historica, Magyar Tudományos Akadémia. Volume 61. Akadémiai Kiadó, 1969. Pp. 65.
  3. ^ Gregory Curtis Ference. Chronology of 20th-century eastern European history. Gale Research, Inc., 1994. Pp. 226.
  4. ^ Vincent E. McHale, Sharon Skowronski. Political Parties of Europe: Albania-Norway. Greenwood Press, 1983. Pp. 500.
  5. ^ a b Payne, Stanley G. (1996). A History of Fascism, 1914-1945. Routledge. ISBN 0203501322.
  6. ^ Philip Morgan. Fascism in Europe, 1919-1945. London, England, UK: Routledge, 2003. Pp. 76-77.
  7. ^ Philip Morgan. Fascism in Europe, 1919-1945. London, England, UK: Routledge, 2003. Pp. 76.
  8. ^ F. L. Carsten. The rise of fascism. Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, USA: University of California Press, 1982. Pp. 173.
  9. ^ Peter F. Sugar, Péter Hanák. A History of Hungary. First paperback edition. Bloomington, Indiana, USA: Indiana University Press, 1994. Pp. 341.
  10. ^ a b c Georgi Karasimeonov. Cleavages, parties, and voters: studies from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999. Pp. 70.