Tag Archives: Austrian Communist Party

Populist EU sceptics drop back in Austrian polls


With polling day getting closer and the Parties moving into the main phase of their EU campaigns, it seems a good moment to take a look at who is on the up and who is struggling in the election campaign here in Austria.

Good news for pro-EU campaign

Since my last blog post on the EU election the pro-EU parties SPÖ/ÖVP/Grünen/NEOS have advanced slightly and now have a combined figure of 74.8% (+0.8%). While the Populist EU sceptics FPÖ/BZÖ/REKOS combined total has dropped to 21.6% (-1%).

Currently parties with a broadly pro-EU position are up +11% against the anti-EU camp in comparison to 2009.

At the last election the EU sceptic camp included the FPÖ, BZÖ, List Martin. Their combined support was 34.96%. So at this stage in the campaign the current sceptic flag wavers are down 13.36%.

Campaign performances so far

The Parties have been on the EU election campaign trail since the beginning of the year. A look at the changes in average polling figures between the beginning of January and the 1st May provides some insight into how each of the Party is doing.

Advancing in the polls

NEOS

The Liberal Centrist party broke into the national parliament at the first attempt last September with just under 5% of the vote. They have now overtaken the Greens in the polls with an average figure of 13.6%. Since January they have seen their EU poll figures improve by +4%.

SPÖ

The larger of the two parties that form the ruling ‘Grand Coalition’, the Social Democrats are currently polling at the same figure as they achieved at the last EU election.  They are also only one of three election lists to improve its ratings since January, up 2%.

Europa Anders

This list is an electoral alliance of the Communist Party, the Pirates and Change. As they have often been included in ‘others’ in the polls it’s a little bit more difficult to track their performance. In the 1st May Gallup poll they achieved their highest ever figure of 3%. They appear to have advanced between 1.5% & 2% since the alliance was formed.

(Note: Back in January I was estimating the Pirates support at around 2% and the Communists at 1%.)

 

Stuck in the polls

ÖVP

The junior party in the ruling ‘Grand Coalition’, the conservative People’s Party topped the poll at the last EU election. Their current average rating of 24.6% is down 5.4% on that election result. Since January their polling average has remained unchanged. The only good news for the Party is that they are polling 4% higher in the EU polls than the national polls.

Grünen

The Greens have remained unchanged in the polls when compared to January. However, then they held fourth position which they’ve now relinquished to NEOS.

BZÖ

This FPÖ lite party fell out of the national parliament back in September. Their campaign to date has had no impact on the polls and they remain at little over 1%.

REKOS

The Reform Conservatives like the BZÖ remain an ‘also run’, stuck on 1%.

 

Dropping points

FPÖ

Although up by 6% on the last EU election (when the List Martin stole the anti-government show) the FPÖ has seen its average poll rating slip (-3%) compared to its New Year performance.

 

Off the radar

EUSTOP

This ‘lock the borders and throw away the key’ grouping just doesn’t register in this election and isn’t going to provide any surprises.

 

The winners will be….

Let’s remember the old saying ‘A week is a long time in politics’. Much could happen between now and the 25th May. However, despite the campaign launches, the posters on every corner and the hours of TV coverage, to date not much has changed for most of those campaigning.

My guesses for election night:

It looks like the FPÖ will be able to claim ‘victory’ with an increased share of the vote but in fact will have shown that their decline and fall, like a melting glacier, is slow but real.

Despite the fact they will suffer the biggest loss of votes, the ÖVP will probably be happy to have polled ahead of the FPÖ.

Expected to hear the SPÖ saying ‘First is first’ as they take first spot with the same share of the vote they achieved in 2009. To be fair, in the current climate this will be a real win and achievement for the Party.

The Greens will take comfort in a modest gain in their share of the vote but will be concerned that they are losing ground to NEOS and not making significant inroads into the support of the ‘Grand Coalition’  at a time when both parties look vulnerable.

The big election winners will be NEOS with somewhere between 13% and 15% of the vote. A major advance for a Party that is only a year and a half old, which gained just under 5% at the first attempt to secure seats in the national parliament, and who is still building its organisation.

 

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It’s the season to be jolly – unless you’re a strategist for one of the main political parties


Well there are some presents in the polls for all the Parties as we start December. However, the New Year, with a referendum and local polls to navigate before Septembers General Election, remains worrying for all the Parties in the current Austrian Parliament – and challenging for the new Parties seeking to provide an alternative.

Average ratings from across five most recent polls compared to January 2012

Polls Av Now Jan-12 Change
SPO 27.00% 28.60% -1.60%
OVP 22.80% 23.80% -1.00%
FPO 20.40% 26.60% -6.20%
Greens 13.40% 13.60% -0.20%
BZO 2.60% 4.80% -2.20%
Team Stronach 10.20% 0.0% 10.20%
Others 3.60% 2.60% 1.00%

 

SPÖ

Good News: After bouncing in the polls for the last two months between 29% & 25%, the Party is now back where it was pre-scandal on 27%.

Bad News: For much of the year the SPÖ has been polling between 30% & 27%. The latter now begins to look like its new high mark.

Party suffered a significant setback in October coming third behind the Communists in the Graz City election.

ÖVP

Good News: Now restored to second place in the opinion polls.

Bad News: Little change in its support.

Only back in second due to decline in support for FPÖ. Although first in Graz City election lost some support particularly to FPÖ. Lost control of Krems in the autumn as supporters stayed at home or switch to Independent lists.

Continues to look vulnerable to loss of support to Team Stronach on the Right and Neos from the Centre.

FPÖ

Good News: The FPÖ nose dive in support has flattened out. Team Stronach not taking more support from them at the moment.

Small increase in vote in the October Graz City election.

Bad News: Support keeps bouncing between 18% & 22% in polls. Firmly now third party.

Failed to scoop up protest vote again in local elections, this time in Graz and finished fourth.

Greens

Good News: Have seen their vote in some polls in last two months reach a high of 15%.

Most popular of parties with other voters when asked who should be in coalition?

Bad News: After climbing to new highs in the polls, they have ended the last two months back where they started. Attempt to shift Party position further to the Left (by some leading members) seems to have damaged modest gains made in the autumn.

Despite being seen as only Party in parliament untouched by corruption scandals, seem unable to turn clear image into significant poll gains.

Party restricted to urban areas, so losing ground in the October Graz City election -where they had been in coalition with the (conservative) ÖVP – another sign of their structural weakness.

BZÖ

Good News: One or two polls have shown them above 3%.

Haven’t had any more MPs defect to Team Stronach.

Bad News: Some polls have the Party polling at 1%. They look extremely unlikely to secure the 4% needed to get back into the next parliament.

Secured only 1.3% in the October Graz City election and finished in seventh place, behind the Austrian Pirate Party.

Team Stronach

Good News: Polling consistently between 8% & 12%.

Have begun to secure political defections from ÖVP & SPÖ politicians in the Austrian states to add to the 5 former BZÖ and 1 SPÖ MP recruited in the national parliament.

Austro-Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach has just added another 1 million Euros to the Party’s funds.

Format Political Barometer survey showed 31% of voters seeing Party as an acceptable alternative to traditional parties.

Bad News: Despite extremely high profile with endless media coverage the Party hasn’t advanced in the polls since its launch in September.

Opponents having some success in trying to linking Stronach’s former business activity in Austria to historical scandal that has already damaged other parties. Dents new broom image.

Frank Stronach’s recent interview on national TV was another PR disaster.

Lot of unanswered questions about policy.

Top down – run the country with a CEO supported by a board of experts implementing policies for the greater good image – likely to be unattractive to significant proportion of population.

Austrian Pirates

Good News: Secured a seat in the Graz City elections with 2.7% of vote & finished above BZÖ.

Seem to have resolved the leadership issues from earlier in the year.

Bad News: Polls in which Party is specifically named indicate an average of 2% support.

Communist Party

Good News: Big winner in the October Graz City election securing second place with 20% of vote.

Increased profile has seen Party registering 4% in the latest Gallup poll – enough to secure seats in the national parliament.

Bad News: Local factors in Graz result were significant and Party probably lacks infrastructure to achieve wider success.

Party history also likely to work against maintaining any longer support.

Result shows potential for other parties/groupings to secure protest vote.

NEOS

Good News: Format Political Barometer survey showed 13% of voters seeing Party as an acceptable alternative to traditional parties.

Securing reasonable levels of newspaper coverage & generating interest through local meetings and use of internet.

Bad News: Don’t have the resources of the established parties or Team Stronach.

Yet to achieve a media grabbing profile moment beyond initial launch – but early days for the new Party.

Party recognition level still low.

 

Average ratings from across five most recent polls compared to General Election result 2008

Polls Av Now GE 2008 Change
SPO 27.00% 29.30% -2.30%
OVP 22.80% 26.00% -3.20%
FPO 20.40% 17.50% 2.90%
Greens 13.40% 10.40% 3.00%
BZO 2.60% 10.70% -8.10%
Team Stronach 10.20% 0.00% 10.20%
Others 3.60% 6.10% -2.50%

 

Change in support across the political spectrum since last election:

Polls GE 2008 Change
Far-Right FPO/BZO 23.00% 28.20% -5.20%
Right FPO/BZO/TS/OVP 56.00% 54.20% 1.80%
Centre-Right TS/OVP 33.00% 26.00% 7.00%
Coalition OVP/SPO 49.80% 55.30% -5.50%
Centre-Left SPO/Green 40.40% 39.70% 0.70%
Note: TS formed 27th Sept 2012

 

 

 

 

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