"meeting, court, tribunal," from O.N. husðing
"council," from hus
"house" + ðing
"assembly" (see thing
); so called because it was a meeting of the men who formed the "household" of a nobleman or king. The native O.E. word for this was folc-gemot.
The plural became the usual form c.1500; sense of "temporary platform for political speeches" developed by 1719 from London's Court of Hustings, presided over by the Lord Mayor, which was held on a platform in the Guildhall. This sense broadened to encompass the whole election process.