Monthly Archives: November 2012

Greens share fourth place in tonight’s poll


I don’t generally focus on one poll but I’ve been writing today about the Greens and here we have the IMAS poll, featured in tonight’s Krone.at, with figures showing the Greens now sharing fourth place with Team Stronach:

SPÖ: 26%-28%, ÖVP: 22%-24%, FPÖ: 18%-20%, Greens: 11%-13%, Team Stronach: 11%-13%, BZO: 4%-6%, Pirates: 2%-3%

The paper seems quite excited by this but when you add the results into my running average of the last five opinion polls the position is not quite as dramatic:

Average ratings from across five most recent polls & change since General Election 2008 

Polls Av Now GE 2008 Change
SPO 25.80% 29.30% -3.50%
OVP 22.80% 26.00% -3.20%
FPO 20.40% 17.50% 2.90%
Greens 13.80% 10.40% 3.40%
BZO 3.20% 10.70% -7.50%
Team Stronach 10.80% 0.00% 10.80%
Others 3.20% 6.10% -2.90%

 

Comparing the current crop of polls to the figures when Team Stronach was launched (27th September 2012) the situation has changed very little.

 

Polls Av Now 27/09/2012 Change
SPO 25.80% 27.00% -1.20%
OVP 22.80% 22.20% 0.60%
FPO 20.40% 20.00% 0.40%
Greens 13.80% 13.60% 0.20%
BZO 3.20% 3.00% 0.20%
Team Stronach 10.80% 11.00% -0.20%
Others 3.20% 3.20% 0.00%

 

What may worry the Greens more at the moment is that this is the first poll since the SPÖ scandal to show support potentially below 13%. The small recovery in SPÖ support has been matched by a decline in Green ratings.Their current average figure is now virtually unchanged in comparison with their performance in January 2012.

Average ratings from across five most recent polls since January 2012

Polls Av Now Jan-12 Change
SPO 25.80% 28.60% -2.80%
OVP 22.80% 23.80% -1.00%
FPO 20.40% 26.60% -6.20%
Greens 13.80% 13.60% 0.20%
BZO 3.20% 4.80% -1.60%
Team Stronach 10.80% 0.0% 10.80%
Others 3.20% 2.60% 0.60%

 

Also of interest in IMAS poll and my running averages is the confirmation of the FPÖ in third place and losing the battle for second with the ÖVP.

Sources:

IMAS/Krone 13-11-12
Gallup/oe24 11-11-12
Gallup/oe24 28-10-12
IMAS/Krone 26-10-12
Gallup/oe24 21-10-12

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Will the Greens leave behind their voters for Neos to scoop up?


Events in Germany have generated a few stories in the Austrian press in the last couple of days focusing on the position of the Greens in Austrian politics. The stimulus for these articles has been the election by the German Greens of two leaders, for next year’s federal elections, with a broad middle class appeal. The German Greens it seems are going after the CDU’s conservative voters rather than just seeking to secure left leaning support. (Reuters article)

This turn of events has lead to articles about the Austrian Greens and in particular this one caught my eye: Green: Vienna moves to the left, to the right Berlin. It an interesting idea, the Greens moving further to the left in Austrian politics and it might work for them, if that’s what they really intend.

The Austrian Greens, despite being the only party elected into the current Parliament that hasn’t faced one or more major scandals, have only increased their support to date by 4% and remain fourth in the polls. Last year they seemed to benefit from the decline in support for the conservative ÖVP but more recently their stronger poll ratings have coincided with a weakening of the SPÖ (Social Democrats). The latter are already in a longstanding battle with the far-Right FPÖ in their traditional working class areas and now face a further challenge from the new right-of-centre ‘Team Stronach’. With support dented by poorly handled scandal accusations and facing towards the challenge of Populists on the right, the SPÖ look vulnerable on their left flank. The temptation to push left and make real inroads may look highly tempting to the Greens in general and the more fundamentalist faction in particular.

But if the Greens did shift further to the left could they maintain their existing voter base while adding disillusioned traditional left-wing voters?

It is notable that the rise of the Green Party in general elections was mirrored by the decline of the LIF (Austrian Liberal Party). Many of these LIF voters switch to the Greens. I have already highlighted that the rise and fall in the opinion polls of the conservative ÖVP and the Greens last year often mirrored each other – liberal ÖVP voters switching. In short, the Greens are currently home to a mix of traditional Greens, left-Greens and social Liberal voters. A leftwards strategy that simply replaced these liberal & progressive voters with disillusioned leftists would be unlikely to reap dividends and I suspect would lead to a net loss of support.

Up until recently the Greens have had only the worry of losing liberal voters to the ‘not voting camp’. However, a new player has taken to the Austrian political field in the form of ‘Neos – the new Austria’. A party formed to provide a rallying point for homeless Liberals and other progressives, its founding members include former activists from the Greens, Liberals, and ÖVP. If it can overcome the challenges of not receiving the benefits of media access and state funding enjoyed by Parties already in the Parliament then Neos is likely to draw support away from the Greens – even more so if the latter really jumped further to the corporate left.

In an ideal world and looking at the alternatives on offer, seeing both the Greens and Neos well represented in the next Austrian parliament would creative a new dynamic to a system that many across the political spectrum think needs renewing.

Link:  http://neos.eu/

 

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The Vienna party starts anew


There is always a buzz in Vienna, always things going on. However, to me, the period from the end of September through to mid-November is as close as the city ever gets to taking a pause.

Then as you start to wrap up, with autumn turning to winter, small huts start to be erected across the city, street decorations are installed and the purveyors of holiday trinkets bring forth their wares. All over Vienna the Christmas markets beginning to open, signalling the start of another year of partying in the City.

Walking through the Rathausplatz the other evening, between the stalls still being erected and those being prepared for the opening of the market on the 17th November,  I took a look at the Christmas tree that takes pride of place in front of the City Hall. Not yet decorated, this tree has got a bit of a history having already been to the Vatican where it was rejected – more on this story here in the Austrian Times.

The Christmas markets provide the City with an enhanced sense of the Christmas festivities. They also reflect the Austrian habit of socialising outside all year round. No matter how cold it gets (& even better if it snows) we will all be standing around with our Glühwien and food chatting away to friends and enjoying the party which will carry on through New Year celebrations, winter activities, spring festivals and the gorgeous summer months by the river and in the vineyards.

If you are paying a visit to Vienna here’s a link to more details on the Christmas Markets

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Polls stable for big three but will it last?


Average ratings from across last five opinion polls:

SPÖ: 25.4%, ÖVP: 22.8%, FPÖ: 21.0%, Greens: 14.4%,  Team Stronach: 10.4%, BZÖ : 2.6%, Others: 3.4%

After the pain of 2011 the conservative ÖVP has had a better time, relatively speaking, in the 2012 polls. For much of the last 18 months trailing in third place they are now regularly polling above the FPÖ, but only because of the significant drop in support for the latter.

The far-Right FPÖ will be pleased to see their poll rating have stabilised after crashing in some poll in September/October to 18%. For now they have managed to stem the loss of support caused by various scandals but continue to look vulnerable to the new player on the right of centre ‘Team Stronach’.

The SPÖ (Social Democrats) will be relieved to see their poll rating having stabilised. They took a dramatic knock in September/October after they failed to effectively deal with their own alleged scandal – managing to make themselves look as tainted as the centre-right & far-Right parties who have faced one serious scandal after another.

Our new right of centre party, ‘Team Stronach’, has settled into steady 10%-11% poll ratings since their launch at the end of April. This is lower than some polling figures pre-launch and a long way short of the 30% target set by their Austrian-Canadian billionaire founder.

The Greens continue to nudge their vote up (currently 4% better than at the last election) but there their green/anti-corruption message has not lifted them out of 4th place in the polls. They are pushing hard on the anti-corruption agenda and this may bring further reward but they like the  ÖVP are particularly vulnerable to losing support to the latest arrival on the political scene Neos (a Liberal centrist party).

The BZÖ has not only lost members of parliament to ‘Team Stronach’ but have probably lost any chance of retaining seats in the parliament after the General Election in September 2013. They are once again registering no more than 2%-3% across the polls (4% is the minimum needed to secure parliamentary representation).

Average ratings from across last five polls and change since January:

Polls Av Now Jan-12 Change
SPO 25.40% 28.60% -3.20%
OVP 22.80% 23.80% -1.00%
FPO 21.00% 26.60% -5.60%
Greens 14.40% 13.60% 0.80%
BZO 2.60% 4.80% -2.20%
Team Stronach 10.40% 0.0% 10.40%
Others 3.40% 2.60% 0.80%

 

Average ratings from across last five polls and change since last General Election:

Polls Av Now GE 2008 Change
SPO 25.40% 29.30% -3.90%
OVP 22.80% 26.00% -3.20%
FPO 21.00% 17.50% 3.50%
Greens 14.40% 10.40% 4.00%
BZO 2.60% 10.70% -8.10%
Team Stronach 10.40% 0.00% 10.40%
Others 3.40% 6.10% -2.70%

 

Change in support across the political spectrum since last General Election:

Polls GE 2008 Change
Far-Right FPO/BZO 23.60% 28.20% -4.60%
Right FPO/BZO/OVP/TS 56.80% 54.20% 2.60%
Centre-Right OVP/TS 33.20% 26.00% 7.20%
Coalition SPO/OVP 48.20% 55.30% -7.10%
Centre-Left SPO/Green 39.80% 39.70% 0.10%

 

Sources: Gallup/oe24 11-11-12
Gallup/oe24 28-10-12
IMAS/Krone 26-10-12
Gallup/oe24 21-10-12
Karmasin/Profil 20-10-12

 

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