Is a political earthquake imminent?


A new poll suggests that the existing make-up of Austrian politics may not last beyond the next General Election in 2013.

I’ve written before about the 15% -20% of voters in Austria who continually indicate their interest in supporting a new Party. Translating the theoretical willingness of these voters to back one or more new Parties will ultimately depend upon:

  1.  The reality of manifesto details,
  2.  Positioning –political spectrum and likely alliances
  3.  Ability to mount a credible challenge
  4. The state of the existing Parties given ongoing corruption scandals and the degree of continued negative voter attitudes to existing political structures

Currently there are between four and six potential/actual Parties or movements that might be able to mount a serious challenge to the five Parties presently occupying seats in the national parliament. The latest opinion poll by Gallup Austria included the names of two potential Parties (neither has yet structure) and the results suggests a political earthquake is imminent unless the existing Parties can overcome their various difficulties and reinvigorate support:

Gallup poll:

(Existing Parties)

SPÖ 25%, ÖVP 22%, FPÖ 25%, BZÖ 3%, GREEN 10%, Others 2%

(new ’Parties‘)

PIRATES 7%, “Stronach Party” 6%

If this was a general election result then the existing Grand Coalition of SPÖ (Social Democrats) and ÖVP (conservatives) would need the Greens or possibly the ‘Stronach Party‘ to form a majority government. The far-Right FPÖ would not be able to do a deal with the ÖVP without a third partner, but who? The more ‘moderate‘ far-Right (or Conservative Right-Wing)  BZÖ would have failed to achieve the required 4% threshold to enter parliament.

These figures I would suggest, based upon the level of voter dissatifacton in current polling, indicate a major tremor. The poll shows the two potential new challengers taking votes from across the political Parties. If these and/or one or two other groups do emerge with sufficient resources then I could see the ÖVP (currently most damnaged in the polls by corruption scandals) and the FPÖ (give its appeal as the currrent anti-establishment Party) suffering most. The SPÖ probably still the largest party but with a their share of the vote reduced and the Greens possibly in power but also with their vote in decline.

Poll summary on neuwal.com

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Filed under Austrian Politics, Politics

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