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Austrian elections thread

by whataboutbob Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 03:18:17 PM EST

Bumped & updated by DoDo

The normal ballots in the Austrian national elections have now been counted. Results:

  • participation: 74.22% (-10.05!)
  1. SP (Social Democrats) 35.71% (-0.8)
  2. VP (conservatives, incumbents) 34.22% (-8.08%)
  3. FP (Haider-less far-right) 11.21% (+1.2)
  4. Grne (Greens) 10.49% (+1.02)
  5. BZ (Haider's breakaway far-right) 4.20% (new party)
  6. Liste Martin (list of a clean-hands MEP) 2.83% (new)
  7. KP (Communists) 1.01% (+0.45)

This looks like a much bigger fall of the VP than expected, and a resurgence of the far-right despite divisions. But those divisions became geographical in nature, with BZ sweeping 25.41% in Carynthia.

Up to 400,000 postal ballots will only be counted 9 October, they might yet change the situation: BZ could fall under 4% and out of Parliament, and -- more likely -- the Greens could overtake FP. It now looks likely that SP leader Alfred Gusenbauer will become chancellor, heading an SP-VP grand coalition.

whataboutbob's original text below the fold


From Fran's Breakfast Thread, is this piece on Sunday's Austrian election:

Green party could be kingmaker in Austria election

VIENNA (Reuters) -- Austria's Green Party could end up being kingmaker after a closely fought national election on Sunday and supplant the far right as the junior partner in a new coalition government.

With Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel's conservatives and the Social Democrats fighting to come out on top, and two right-wing leaders embroiled in an internecine election battle, the Greens for the first time could join a national government and decide who leads Austria.

The Social Democrats at 35 percent are trailing the conservative People's Party by three percentage points in recent opinion polls. The Greens look at par with the far-right Freedom Party at around 10 percent.

If the big parties are not forced into a "grand coalition" as in Germany, the Greens could offer a less controversial partner than the Freedom Party to conservatives and Social Democrats alike. "It might be that 46 percent of the votes could be enough to form a coalition," said Peter Filzmaier, a political researcher at Krems University. "In this case, Social Democrats and Greens or conservatives and Greens are both realistic combinations."

Let's use this as an open tread to discuss the election, in general, and any results on Sunday.

And this is a call to our Austrian members...or anyone else knowledgeable & interested in the Austrian election...let us know your perspectives!

From the diaries (any updates?) ~ whataboutbob

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Mandatory wikipedia links:

Do you know if there's a reverse-chronological list somewhere of all EU countries elections? (same question on the world :)
by Laurent GUERBY on Sat Sep 30th, 2006 at 05:59:38 AM EST
Apparently, the SPÖ lost its led in the polls by April already, as the consequence of an overblown trade union corruption scandal.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 30th, 2006 at 09:12:54 AM EST
SPÖ seems to have a small lead over ÖVP.

There is a trend analysis on ORF tv news in German:
http://www.orf.at/061001-4437/index.html

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 11:36:23 AM EST
Wow, polls closed at 17h already?

Reading ORF, the bad news: FPÖ before Greens, and Haider's BZÖ seems to enter the parliament too.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 11:41:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading further, results for Vienna not yet represented in these projections. I guess that will move SPÖ, FPÖ, Greens even higher.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 11:42:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Upon checking details of the count, the projection must be including an estimate for Vienna: for the present count is 2140/2380 election districts counted, yet it shows ÖVP at 40.13% and SPÖ at 33.72%.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 11:59:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope this linked graph from ORF is refreshed:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 11:44:01 AM EST
ÖVP = Austrian People's Party (conservatives)
SPÖ = Austrian Social Democrats
FPÖ = Freedom Party Austria (far right, ex Haider)
GRÜNE = Greens
BZÖ = Alliance for the Future of Austria (far-right, Haider's breakaway group, now Haider handed over leadership to onetime popular finance minister Westenthaler)
KPÖ = Austrian Communist Party
HPM = Hans-Peter Martin (party of a former SPIEGEL editor and present European Parliament rep who started a crusade against corruption and money-wasting by MEPs)
Sonst. = Other

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 11:51:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks DoDo, this is great. So the results at the top of the post are the final results? Just checking.

And what do we know about what the Social Parties policies?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 03:24:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, those at the top of the post. Unfortunately, the inserted graph in my comment is not self-updating.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 03:47:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's a BBC article on this election:

Victory for Austrian opposition

Austria's opposition Social Democrats have won a surprise election victory, defeating Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel's People's Party.
With all but absentee ballots counted, the centre-left Social Democrats won 35.7% of the vote, narrowly beating the the People's Party at 34.2%.

Even as votes were being counted, Mr Schuessel said it would take "a small miracle" for his party to win.

The Social Democrat's Alfred Gusenbauer is likely to become the new chancellor. (...)

About 400,000 postal votes have still be to be counted and that could affect the final results, in particular, for the Greens and the Alliance for the Future of Austria.

Coalition negotiations are likely to be time-consuming and difficult, reports the BBC's Bethany Bell in Vienna.

The most obvious alliance is a grand coalition between the People's Party and the Social Democrats, an option preferred by many Austrians.



"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 03:32:10 PM EST
Huh, another Grand Coalition!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 03:33:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I still don't give up hope that mail votes will push BZÖ out of the parliament, and there'll be a Red-Green coalition.

If there is a Grand Coalition again, that will only mean that the far-right will gain further... (A grand coalition governed for most of Austria's post-war history, which enaled a system where everything was divided up -- the "Proporz" --, and Haider rose in this environment.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 03:50:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
400 000 is how many percent?
by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 05:18:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are about 6M eligible voters in Austria. At 75% participation that is 4.5M voters, so 400,000 is 9% of votes or 7% of eligible voters.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 2nd, 2006 at 04:01:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, if there's any kind of bias in this 400 000 population (rural/elderly/...) that could move the result quite a bit.
by Laurent GUERBY on Mon Oct 2nd, 2006 at 06:56:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, I read some more detailed calculations about the postal votes (which BTW will be counted in the afternoon of 9 October).

400,000 is the number of requested postal ballots. Last time, 58% of requested ballots were actually mailed, that would be 240,000 extra votes now.

BZÖ would need a mere 1000 (0.4%) out of this to stay above the 4% limit -- and even though traditionally the far-right underperforms and the Greens overperform in postal ballots, not by such a margin, so Haider is quite likely to get this much.

However, it is also likely that the Greens will ultimately overtake the FPÖ. In 2002, a 55,000-vote lead of the FPÖ before the Greens was reduced to 26,000 with the postal ballots. This time, FPÖ has a lead of 32,000, and there were more postal ballots than last time.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Oct 2nd, 2006 at 07:45:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I corrected/complemented the diary accordingly.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Oct 2nd, 2006 at 07:48:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I guess we can all just sit back and wait for the flood of news stories about how the Austrian people have rejected neoliberal economics and embraced the welfare state and big government social protections.

<<crickets chirping>>

by TGeraghty on Mon Oct 2nd, 2006 at 12:13:51 AM EST
I'm sorry, Mr TG, but there's going to be a struggling, left-leaning, wafer-thin majority, fragile coalition government that will teeter on the brink of disaster morning after morning.

Journalists are serious people. They can't write fairy tales like the one you suggest.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Oct 2nd, 2006 at 03:43:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great work, Bob and DoDo!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Oct 2nd, 2006 at 03:45:11 AM EST


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