Changing Patterns in Electoral Behaviour: Electoral Volatility in Hungary and Slovakia

Keywords: Electoral volatility, Hungary, Slovakia, Party switching, Party system instability, Electoral behaviour


The aim of this paper is to update knowledge about voting patterns and electoral behaviour in Hungary and Slovakia based on data from the last elections in 2018 and 2020. Political studies of electoral behaviour across Central and Eastern Europe with new democracies established shortly after fall of authoritarian regimes have found several findings, unique for this area. One of them is a specific type of electoral volatility, typical for political systems which follow longer periods of authoritarian regime. This electoral volatility correlates with high party system instability with new parties emerging every electoral term and old political parties vanishing from political competition. While political scientists studied relationship between electoral volatility and increasing number of political parties, party switching presents considerable threat to stability of party system in CEE. Therefore, this paper studies socioeconomic, demographic, and value factors that determine a specific type of electoral behaviour. This study shows that certain voters’ characteristics increase the likelihood of voters’ behaviour and confirms their relevance in eradicating electoral volatility. The results of this article prove that while voters’ volatility is “natural” for Hungary and Slovakia, age, and education correlate with specific types of behaviour. Additionally, the main reason for abstaining from voting is minimal trust towards democratic principles.


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How to Cite
Ondruška, M. (2022) “Changing Patterns in Electoral Behaviour: Electoral Volatility in Hungary and Slovakia”, Slovak Journal of Political Sciences, 22(2), pp. 276-292. Available at: (Accessed: 28March2023).