Monthly Archives: February 2013

Big three consolidate position in Feb polls


The SPÖ, ÖVP, and FPÖ continue to maintain their respective shares of the vote with political press coverage dominated by the State elections in Lower Austria and Kärnten due to be held on the 3rd March 2013 – I suspect that the results in these elections may however cause some shift in the polls come next month.

In the meantime the small upward trajectory of the conservative ÖVP is matched by an equal poll decline for the Greens – as I’ve discussed before, possibly reflecting small shifts in centre-right liberal voters between the two Parties.

Despite the high level of press coverage for Team Stronach they remain below the 11% rating scored when the Party was formed in September 2012.

The story of the other party currently in the Austrian Federal parliament, the BZÖ, remains one of slow death. It will take a miracle for what’s left of the Party – following defections to Team Stronach – to reach the 4% needed to secure seats in parliament.

Current average based upon last five polls:

SPÖ: 26.6%, ÖVP: 24.4%, FPÖ 21.6%, Greens 12.4%, Team Stronach: 9.4%, BZÖ 2%, Others 3.6%

Percentage variation across last five polls:

SPÖ: 24%-28%, ÖVP: 23%-25%, FPÖ 21%-23%, Greens 11%-14%, Team Stronach: 8%-10%, BZÖ 1%-4%

Change since 1st January:

SPÖ: -0.4%, ÖVP: +1.6%, FPÖ +0.8%, Greens -1.6%, Team Stronach -1.2%, BZÖ +0.4%, Others +0.4%

 

Sources:

Karmasin/profil 23-02-13
Gallup/oe24 23-02-13
IMAS/Krone 13-02-13
Karmasin/Heute 08-02-13
Gallup/oe24 03-02-13
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Austrian Politics, Politics

Could the Conservatives ‘win’ the General Election in September?


Less than eighteen months ago the obituaries were being written for the ÖVP but it’s the conservatives who are winning the early rounds in Austria’s ‘super election year’*. Come the General Election in September the Party could be in first place if the current trend was to hold – assuming they don’t break from the governing coalition, force an early election and make a dash for first place while the going is good.

Current average based upon last five polls:

SPÖ: 26.6%, ÖVP: 24.8%, FPÖ 21.2%, Greens 12.8%, Team Stronach: 8.4%, BZÖ 2%, Others 4.2%

Percentage variation across last five polls:

SPÖ: 24%-28%, ÖVP: 23%-26%, FPÖ 21%-22%, Greens 11%-14%, Team Stronach: 7%-10%, BZÖ 1%-4%

Change since 1st January:

SPÖ: -0.4%, ÖVP: +2%, FPÖ +0.4%, Greens -1.2%, Team Stronach -2.2%, BZÖ +0.4%, Others +1%

 

On an upward trajectory

OVP

The ÖVP were seen as clear winners of January’s Conscription referendum, which has galvanised their electoral machine and left the SPÖ internally finger pointing about their preparedness and poor tactics.

The news from Lower Austria, where the Party has an absolute majority in the State parliament, is looking positive with the most recent poll giving the Party 49% support (down from 54.4% at the last election). While an absolute majority may slip away by polling day on the 3rd March, it doesn’t look as though the new competitor, Team Stronach, is having the impact some commentators expected (currently 8%) and you won’t want to put serious money on Governor Pröll and the ÖVP machine failing to maintain their majority.

In the current debate about how good or bad the EU budget negotiations were for Austria, the ÖVP’s attacks on its senior coalition partners performance seems to sit on the same side of the fence as many voters – 44% say EU budget negotiations bad for Austria. Noticeably 49% of SPÖ believe the country is paying too much and 55% of ÖVP take the same view. However, Austrian votes remain strongly in favour of the EU and the move by the traditionally very pro-EU ÖVP to a mildly sceptical (though still pro) position, at a time when the SPÖ has shifted to a stronger pro-EU line, may have longer term disadvantages.

 

BUT…

On the same day as the largest of Austria’s States delivers it verdict on the ÖVP’s absolute majority, the party is likely to record a poor result in the southern State of Kärnten. Here if the polls are correct, the ÖVP may slip from third to fifth place.

The Party’s hopes of improved results in the State elections in Salzburg and Tyrol are by no means guaranteed and they are likely to gain little from the results of the Vienna referendum questions.

The SPÖ remain in first place despite the setbacks of the last few weeks. They have a real possibility of securing first place in the Kärnten State election – breaking the control of the state by the FPÖ’s sister party the FPK. The SPÖ has been polling most strongly in recent months when they have pushed clear positive agenda for instance the pro-EU stance, taking on the FPÖ head on, and their immediate poll ratings didn’t actually yo-yo after the conscription debate. In short, if the SPÖ can stay united and retain a centre-left position (despite the desire of some to shift further left) they are the party mostly likely to secure first place at the General Election.

Additionally, while Team Stronach is primarily in a battle for voters with the FPÖ, any significant improvement in its support is likely to cost the ÖVP a few percentage points. Moreover, as this article in Profil highlights, the ÖVP will also face the threat of losing support to Austria’s new liberal Centrist party NEOS. (The new party, along with the Pirates, could also pose a threat to the Green Party’s chances).

178934_343836822378911_2061264889_n

 

Winning the election?

My guess is that the ÖVP won’t come out first at the General Election in September. They are, however, most likely to be one of the winners in forming the next coalition government:

Realistic coalition options based on current average polls:

ÖVP/Greens/SPÖ – 64.2%

TeamStronach/ÖVP/SPÖ – 59.8%

FPÖ/ TeamStronach/ÖVP – 54.4%

ÖVP/SPÖ – 51.4%

 

(*Super election year – National conscription referendum; State elections in Lower Austria, Kärnten, Salzburg, and Tyrol; Vienna referendum; Federal General Election).

Sources:

IMAS/Krone 13-02-13
Karmasin/Heute 08-02-13
Gallup/oe24 03-02-13
Karmasin/profil 26-01-13
Gallup/oe24 26-01-13

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Austrian Politics, Politics

Will the 304th Vienna derby have been important? Well……


Tomorrow (Sunday 17th Feb 2013) I will join other Austria Wien fans in cheering the team as we start the Spring season (following the traditional winter break). Like most of the Veilchen, I’m still on a high from seeing the Violets crowned ‘Winter Kings’ – first in the league, 7 points ahead of nearest rivals Salzburg, and with a 10 point lead over Rapid Wien. The computer has ordained that we will kick-off the second half of our 2012-13 campaign with the chance to win our third Vienna derby of the season.

The story so far:

3rd round of the season                 –             Rapid 0:3 Austria

4th round of season                        –             Salzburg 0:2 Rapid

9th round of the season                 –            Austria 0:1 Salzburg

12th round of the season              –           Austria 2:0 Rapid

13th round of the season               –            Rapid 2:0 Salzburg

18th round of the season              –           Salzburg 0:0 Austria

Top of Premiership Table

  1. Austria 48pts
  2. Salzburg 41pts
  3. Rapid 38pts
  4. Sturm Graz 35pts

The results may have gone our way in the two derby matches so far but we haven’t beaten our nearest rivals Salzburg who have themselves succumbed twice to Rapid. The point is that neither the derby clashes nor the games against Salzburg have played a decisive role in the story of the first half of the season. Austria gained there lead through consistency of performance week in week out. With the squad still intact after the close of the transfer window and in fact enhanced by the re-signing of Nacer Barazite (returning after a year way at Monaco), all the signs point to an equally strong Spring campaign.

So what of the derby tomorrow? Well it’s always important to every fan no matter where the two teams are in the league. It however looks unlikely to have any impact on the final positions at the end of the season. Does this mean I will be relaxed tomorrow? That I don’t care about the derby result? Of course not! If, as I hope, we win the match I’ll be ecstatic. If the unthinkable happens I’ll be as miserable as sin. But no matter what, the result will not determine the destiny of the two teams for the rest of the season.

Rapid are on a run of seven games without a win against Austria. I suspect that run won’t end tomorrow afternoon. If we get off to a good start it could be another 0:3 win but a win by one goal is more likely…….but then the real fun of football is that every game is different and derby games are particularly unpredictable 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Walking amongst the clouds on the Ramsau am Dachstein plateau


IMG_6814

I hadn’t actually intended to go walking amongst the clouds. When I set out for a mornings hiking, through one corner of the snowy Ramsau, there was even some blue sky above my head, while the clouds attracting my attention were visible not above the mountains but below in the Enns valley. However,  I’m one of those strange people who actually enjoys strolling through a misty landscape with its ever changing patterns so when the clouds came racing towards me I embraced them with some enthusiasm.

Ramsau am Dachstein is situated on a plateau between the Dachstein range and the Enns valley in the Austrian state of Steiermark (close to the border with Austrian states of Salzburg and Oberösterreich). It scores highly as a winter playground for families but that’s a story for another post. The area is also noted as one of the few Protestant enclaves in heavily Roman Catholic Austria.

Walking amongst the clouds turns the world into a place in which the day to day suddenly becomes anything but mundane and normally. With ever changing patterns a path, a wood or a hut in a field each becomes new objects of curiosity.

The day had started with further snow......

The day had started with further snow……

...but it did add to the attractiveness of our surroundings....

…but it did add to the attractiveness of our surroundings….

..there really had been a lot of snow in 24 hours....

..there really had been a lot of snow in 24 hours….

...but then the sun broke through....

…but then the sun broke through….

...to my left the sky above the nearest peaks cleared..

…to my left the sky above the nearest peaks cleared..

....but maybe I should have paid more attention to the picture on my right and below...

….but maybe I should have paid more attention to the picture on my right and below…

....one minutes I'm walking in a landscape of bright whites and sharp colours, the next   it's a landscape of ink and shifting shapes..

….one minutes I’m walking in a landscape of bright whites and sharp colours, the next it’s a landscape of ink and shifting shapes..
....but black on silvery grey can be beautiful....

….but black on silvery grey can be beautiful….

...back on the farm road the clouds swirled around. In one moment I can't see (but can guess) what's making the jingling noise and then suddenly the horses and their sleigh are easily visible already well up the track....

…back on the farm road the clouds swirled around. In one moment I can’t see (but can guess) what’s making the jingling noise and then suddenly the horses and their sleigh are easily visible already well up the track….

....its only the passing of a few seconds before they begin to disappear back into the enclosing clouds...

….its only the passing of a few seconds before they begin to disappear back into the enclosing clouds…

...with the clouds came the return of the snow. I decided that digging the car out could wait till the next day.

…with the clouds came the return of the snow. I decided that digging the car out could wait till the next day.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Out and about in Steiermark