The party was founded in 1988, named simply Fidesz (Fiatal Demokraták Szövetsége, Alliance of Young Democrats), originally as a youthful libertarian, anticommunist party. Fidesz was founded by young democrats, mainly students, who were persecuted by the communist party and had to meet in small, clandestine groups. The movement became a major force in many areas of modern Hungarian history, engaging itself on every level in the development of a democratic system, its members being active as guardians of fundamental human rights. The membership had an upper age limit of 35 years (this requirement was abolished at the 1993 congress).
Fidesz received 8.95% (1990), 7.02% (1994) and 29.48% (1998).
After its disappointing result in the 1994 elections, Fidesz changed its political position from liberal to conservative. In 1995, it added "Hungarian Civic Party" (Magyar Polgári Párt) to its shortened name. The conservative turn caused a severe split in the membership. Péter Molnár left the party, as well as Gábor Fodor and Klára Ungár, who joined the liberal Alliance of Free Democrats.
Fidesz narrowly lost the 2002 elections to the Hungarian Socialist Party, by 41.07% to the Socialists' 42.05%. Fidesz had 169 members of the Hungarian National Assembly, out of a total of 386. Following the defeat, the municipal elections in October saw huge Fidesz losses.
In the spring of 2003, Fidesz took its current name, "Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Union".
Some consider the election of Dr. László Sólyom as the new President of Hungary as the most recent success of the party. He was endorsed by Védegylet, an NGO including people from the whole political spectrum. His activity doesn't entirely overlap with the conservative ideals and he championed for elements of both political wings with a selective, but conscious choice of values.
In 2005 Fidesz and the Christian KDNP formed an alliance for the 2006 elections. Despite winning 42.0% of the list votes and 164 representatives out of 386 in Parliament, they were beaten by the socialist and liberal coalition of MSZP and SZDSZ.
On October 1, 2006, Fidesz won the municipal elections, which may counterbalance the Socialist Party (MSZP)-led government's power to some extent. According to preliminary results Fidesz won 15 of 23 mayoralties in Hungary's largest cities—although its candidate narrowly lost the city of Budapest to a member of the Liberal Party—and majorities in 18 out of 20 regional assemblies.
Results on the lists:
The SMCs shown on the image have voted for Fidesz ever since 1998. SMCs with a paler hue of orange elected FKGP candidates in 1998, as part of a pact between the two parties.