Tag Archives: Austrian Elections

National polls show Coalition consolidating but will they survive the next two State elections?


Comparison of Aprils national polls with those at the beginning of the year show the conservative ÖVP narrowing the gap on its Grand Coalition government partner the SPÖ (Social Democrats),  whose own poll ratings have remained virtually unchanged.

The (Far-Right)  FPÖ rating has dropped 2 points in the same period and 7.8 percentage points since January 2012.

Becalmed would be the best term to describe the poll performances of the remaining three Parties in the current parliament.

The only other notable trend has been the small but steady increase in Others, moving back towards the 6.1% figure at the last general election and despite the emergence of Team Stronach. If NEOS are able to continue to attract media coverage and/or the Austrian Pirates revive their fortunes then we may well see additional Parties being regularly listed by all polling companies and with growing percentage ratings.

Current average based upon last five polls:

SPÖ: 27.2%,  ÖVP: 24.6%,  FPÖ 18.8%,  Greens 13.6%,  Team Stronach: 9.8%,  BZÖ 2.0%,  Others 4.0%

Percentage variation across last five polls:

SPÖ: 27%-28%, ÖVP: 24%-25%, FPÖ 18%-19%, Greens 13%-14%, Team Stronach: 9%-10%, BZÖ 1%-4%

Polls from Salzburg and Tirol, where State elections will shortly be taking place, indicate that the results for the ÖVP, SPÖ, and FPÖ will not be providing good news headlines to boost their campaigns as we head towards the national election in September. If the polls are accurate the story of these State elections will be the advance of the Greens.

 

Sources:

Karmasin/profil 20-04-13
Gallup/oe24 19-04-13
IMAS/krone 06-04-13
Gallup/oe24 06-04-13
Karmasin/heute 04-04-13

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Austrian Politics, Politics

Who’s benefiting from the fall of the Far-Right FPÖ? No it’s not Uncle Frank!


With new polls added to my running average figures, it’s clear that the fall of Far-Right FPÖ is continuing with their poll rating now down to 18.6%. They have dropped 2.2% points since January 2013 and when compared to their average rating in January 2012 they have fallen 8 percentage points.

Current average based upon last five polls:

SPÖ: 26.6%, ÖVP: 24.2%, FPÖ 18.6%, Greens 13.8%, Team Stronach: 10.8%, BZÖ 2.6%, Others 3.4%

Percentage variation across last five polls:

SPÖ: 26%-27%, ÖVP: 23%-25%, FPÖ 18%-19%, Greens 13%-14%, Team Stronach: 9%-15%, BZÖ 1%-4%

So it’s the Stronach effect?

State elections in Lower Austria and Kärnten, combined with polling data, show that as well as attracting previous non-voters Team Stronach (TS) gains more support from former FPÖ supporters than it does from any other party. This suggests that TS both threatens any FPÖ recovery (by now being the main beneficiary of the protest vote) and hastening their further decline (tempting more of the anti-establishment vote away from the FPÖ).

It’s this evidence that has got many of the papers talking about the damage TS is doing to the FPÖ. But look at the average figures since the Austro-Canadian billionaire businessman, Frank Stronach, founded Team Stronach at the end of September 2012:

Party

Sept ’12 Average

Jan’13 Average

Average Now

Diff Sept to Now

Team Stronach

11%

10.6%

10.8%

-0.2%

FPÖ

20%

20.8%

18.6%

-1.4%

So who is benefiting from FPÖ vs Stronach?

Currently the main beneficiary of the decline of the FPÖ and their battle for survival with TS has been the ÖVP (conservatives):

Party

Sept ’12 Average

Jan’13 Average

Average Now

Diff Sept to Now

Team Stronach

11%

10.6%

10.8%

-0.2%

FPÖ

20%

20.8%

18.6%

-1.4%

ÖVP

22.2%

22.8%

24.2%

2%

I suspect that by the time of the General Election it will be TS that have most benefited from a continued decline of the FPÖ but it hasn’t happened yet. As for the ÖVP the addition of more right learning votes may help their vote share hold up if more liberal ÖVP switch to NEOS or the Greens – either of which is a real possibility.

And what’s been happening to the others since the arrival of Uncle Frank?

Party

Sept ’12 Average

Jan’13 Average

Average Now

Diff Sept to Now

SPÖ

27%

27%

26.6%

-0.4%

Greens

13.6%

14%

13.8%

+0.2%

BZÖ

3%

1.6%

2.6%

-0.4%

Others

3.2%

3.2%

3.4%

+0.2%

Sources: IMAS/krone 06-04-13
Gallup/oe24 06-04-13
Karmasin/heute 04-04-13
Market/Standard 02-04-13
Hajek/ATV 31-03-13

Leave a comment

Filed under Austrian Politics, Politics

Far-Right FPÖ continues its decline while new politics rises in Austria


Two national opinion polls in recent days have shown that the steady decline of the (Far-Right) FPÖ continues, with the Party now dropping below the 20% mark. Comparing the average figure from the most recent 5 polls with those at the beginning of January the FPÖ has lost 1.4 percentage points. Look back 15 months and support dropped by -7.2. Both these figures are a higher loss than any other party. Polls for the forthcoming State elections in Tirol and Salzburg do not suggest that any significant boost will come in either State as the FPÖ appears to be flat-lining.

Market poll:

SPÖ: 26%, ÖVP: 24%, FPÖ: 19%, Greens: 14%, TS: 10%, BZÖ 4%, Others: 3%

Austria Trends poll:

SPÖ: 26%, ÖVP: 23%, FPÖ: 18%, TS: 15%, Greens: 13%, BZÖ 2%, Others: 3%

Current average based upon last five polls:

SPÖ: 27.0%, ÖVP: 24.0%, FPÖ 19.4%, Greens 13.4%, Team Stronach: 10.6%, BZÖ 2.2%, Others 3.4%

Percentage variation across last five polls:

SPÖ: 26%-28%, ÖVP: 23%-25%, FPÖ 18%-20%, Greens 13%-14%, Team Stronach: 9%-15%, BZÖ 1%-4%

Not yet the Stronach affect

State elections in Lower Austria and Kärnten, combined with polling data, indicate that Team Stronach (TS) has supplanted the FPÖ as the ‘party of protest’. This places a significant hurdle in the way of an FPÖ recovery but the full threat of TS may yet to be fully felt. When the Austro-Canadian, billionaire businessman, Frank Stronach founded his party back in September 2012 its initial average ratings were slightly higher than they are now at 11%. The TS poll ratings are currently the most volatile of all the Parties but their higher ratings are moving up and they have the potential to damage the declining FPÖ move than other Parties.

Will the next government be a Kenyan coalition?

The current governing Grand Coalition of SPÖ (Social Democrats) and ÖVP (conservatives) is presently securing an average polling rating of 51% (down -4.3 points on the last General Election). While enough to form the next government (general election at the end of September 2013) a stable administration would suggest they will need to look for a third partner.

Following the Sate election in Kärnten the country now has its first three party coalition. The new ‘Kenyan’ administration (Red, Black, and Green) has been formed by the SPÖ, ÖVP, and the Greens. Commentators are suggesting that this State governing coalition may be the forerunner of Austria’s national government. Publicly the SPÖ and ÖVP both talk about wanting to maintain two party government – either with each other or another partner.

The Greens too are talking of two party government after September, in their mind a Red/Green administration – an outcome favoured by some in the SPÖ based upon the experience of the ruling SPÖ/Green administration in the State of Vienna. Unfortunately for those in favour of this the arithmetic just does not currently work. The polls show combined SPÖ/Green vote averaging 40.4% currently, that’s 0.7 points higher than at the last election. The SPÖ average of 27% is the same as January 2013, down 1.6% points since January 2012, and -2.3% when compared to the last General Election in 2008. Meanwhile the Greens are -0.6% points since January, that’s a further 0.4% average drop compared to January 2012. However, their current rating is 3% higher than their election result of 10.4% in 2008. In short, with six month to go before the general election, a SPÖ/Green government looks a remote option.

Green hopes and threats

The Greens hopes may rest on their performances in the two forthcoming State elections – Tirol & Salzburg. Polls suggest that while in Tirol the Party might nudge its vote up a little, while in Salzburg it may be able to achieve a significant advance. Given their recent success in Kärnten, further success in Salzburg could give the Party momentum going into the general election campaign.

Even this success may not be enough to allow the Greens breakthrough the 15% barrier and reach the promised land of +20%. Internal struggles and organisational weaknesses outside of Vienna pose real difficulties. Should they shift Left to try and take support from the SPÖ (as many activists seem to want) or try to widen their base by appealing across the centre left and right? These questions appear to remain unresolved in election year.

The Greens also face the possibility of seeing their share of the vote decline if one or both of two of Austria’s new parties make an impact at the General Election:

Austrian Pirates – The Pirates have been unable to make an impact in the recent State elections and they are polling 1% in polls in which they are specifically named. However, the Pirates have three hopes for success. Firstly, the Germany General Election is also taking place next September, if their sister Party can generate positive headlines this could help raise the Austrian Pirates profile. Secondly, a ‘Pirate’ issue (internet freedom etc) could once again make the headlines and in so doing make their message more relevant to voters. Thirdly, the Party appears to have resolved its internal difficulties of last year and will go into the campaign as a united force.

0410.svg

Were the Pirates to revive their fortunes they would draw at least part of their support from the Greens vote. I wonder if the Greens remain sufficiently concerned about the Pirates. I’m reliably informed that Greens regularly attended open Pirate meetings last year in order to keep an eye on them.

 

178934_343836822378911_2061264889_n

NEOS – Potentially the bigger threat to the Greens comes from NEOS the new Liberal Centrist Party which has now formed a joint election platform with the Liberal Forum (LIF). NEOS has already score a success with the defection  from the Greens of four leading members of Green Economy (business wing of the Greens). The Party represents a major threat to the Greens whose voter base contains a significant proportion of Social Liberals and centrists, as well as the potential to attract liberal voters currently supporting the ÖVP and to a lesser degree the SPÖ. With an activist base drawn from former Greens, ÖVP, Liberals and others, the Party has a broad Centrist appeal and in the longer run may have the potential to eventually reach the 20% mark that escapes the Greens – for now the NEOS target of 10% would see the Greens drop back below their 2008 level.

 

 

Sources: Market/Standard 02-04-13
Hajek/ATV 31-03-13
Karmasin/profil 23-03-13
Gallup/oe24 16-03-13
Karmasin/heute 15-03-13

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Austrian Politics, Politics

Stronach closes in on the FPÖ in Austrian poll


For the first time since the launch of Team Stronach (TS) back in September 2012 the new Right of Centre party has moved into fourth place in a national opinion poll, overtaking the Greens, and is within touching distance of overhauling the Far-Right FPÖ.

The quarterly Austria Trends survey shows TS at their highest level in any poll at 15%, despite recent coverage of internal Party problems in Lower Austria and chaos in the run-up the Tirol State election where there are currently three competing TS party lists. The Austria Trends poll:

SPÖ: 26%, ÖVP: 23%, FPÖ: 18%, TS: 15%, Greens: 13%, BZÖ 2%, Others: 3%

The poll represents a big jump in support for TS in comparison to other recent polls. It reaffirms the ongoing decline in the FPÖ vote and the stagnation of the Green vote. My prediction that the FPÖ could fall to around 15% continues to look realistic.

Current average based upon last five polls:

SPÖ: 27.0%, ÖVP: 23.6%, FPÖ 19.6%, Greens 13.4%, Team Stronach: 11.2%, BZÖ 1.8%, Others 3.4%

Percentage variation across last five polls:

SPÖ: 26%-28%, ÖVP: 22%-25%, FPÖ 18%-20%, Greens 13%-14%, Team Stronach: 9%-15%, BZÖ 1%-2%

 

Sources: Hajek/ATV 31-03-13
Karmasin/profil 23-03-13
Gallup/oe24 16-03-13
Karmasin/heute 15-03-13
Meinungsraum/NEWS 14-03-13

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Austrian Politics, Politics

When chaos, crisis and failed leadership are good news – the continued decline of Austria’s Far-Right


From Kärnten to Vienna and on to the State elections in Tirol and Salzburg, the situation for Austria’s Far-Right FPÖ is currently of failure, leading to crisis, followed by failure and eventually…..well the General Election in September certainly isn’t looking good for them.

First wave hits

After the State elections catastrophe in Kärnten and failure in Lower Austria the FPÖ has faced a wave of bad press coverage portraying a Party in crisis, it image as winners destroyed by corruption and extremism, its leader unable to bring order to the chaos and infighting. The reality of decline was further enhanced by an opinion poll in Vienna, the Party’s last stronghold, showing their vote significantly in decline.

Second wave hits

The only good news for FPÖ leader HC Strache, when the first waves of disaster hit, was that he appears to have managed to overt a direct challenge to his leadership. But this glimmer of light was more than offset by his unsuccessful attempt to remove the leader of the FPÖ (and political rival) in Lower Austria and a failed move to quickly force the FPÖ’s sister party in Kärnten, the FPK, back into the FPÖ. The aftermath left him looking weak, vulnerable to future challenges, and still with an ongoing crisis in Kärnten.

This week the crisis in Kärnten has deepened, and looks set to rumble on for some time to come, with:

  • Threats of the FPK splitting into two separate parties
  • Strache saying that he will consider ending co-operation with the FPK, with FPÖ then competing directly against them.
  •  The six FPK MPs in the State parliament splitting into two groups of 3. As club status requires 4 MP’s this means they will have no public funding and less influence in the parliament.

The effect of these splits, in one of the FPÖ’s former strongholds, could have a significant impact upon the Party come the general election for the Federal parliament in September.

The general decline in the FPÖ’s position and ongoing events in Kärnten are already having a knock on effect. The leader of the FPÖ in Tirol has called on the party to break now with the FPK. His group face their own State election in Tirol on the 28th April and polls are showing their vote down to around 8%. One week later the State of Salzburg will also hold its elections and the polls there show no sign of an FPÖ advance, despite both the SPÖ and ÖVP begin entangled in a government financial speculation scandal. In short the second wave looks likely to heap further chaos and crisis on the sinking FPÖ.

No Haider

Here’s an interesting article (in German but Google translate works well enough) in the Kurier looking at the weaknesses of the FPÖ’s Strache. It compares the late Jörg Haider and Heinz-Christian Strache – to summarise HC is no Haider.

Good News

So the good news from Austrian politics this week is that it’s all bad news for the FPÖ.

 

Related story: Austrian polls round-up

Leave a comment

Filed under Austrian Politics, Politics

Dust settles after State elections – Austrian polls round-up


The FPÖ (Far-Right) are just managing to keep their polls ratings out of the teens after the disasters of the State elections in Kärnten and Lower Austria. The movement in the polls is once more downwards and it would not be a surprise to see their ratings swinging between 17% and 21% in the coming weeks.

Team Stronach (TS) while still averaging below their initial launch result, back in September 2013, are now bouncing up to 13%. This upward movement may well be an indication that TS is about to make the much talked about inroads into the FPÖ share of the vote.

The ruling coalition, SPÖ (Social Democrats) and the ÖVP (conservatives), continue in first and second place respectively with enough support to secure a majority in the next parliament.

For the Austrian Greens (centre-left) the current crop of polls are in agreement 13% to 14%. They will be concerned that they have not managed to move their support above this level and that if the TS rise continues they may slip from fourth to fifth place in the polls. However, this weekend’s poll showing 16% support in Vienna (the second largest of Austria’s nine States) will cheer the Greens, as will the prospect of an advance in the coming State election in Salzburg where the Party is up 6.6% (to 14%) in a recent poll.

Current average based upon last five polls:

SPÖ: 27.4%, ÖVP: 24.0%, FPÖ 20.2%, Greens 13.4%, Team Stronach: 10.4%, BZÖ 2.2%, Others 2.4%

Percentage variation across last five polls:

SPÖ: 26%-28%, ÖVP: 22%-25%, FPÖ 20%-21%, Greens 13%-14%, Team Stronach: 9%-13%, BZÖ 2%-3%

 

 

Sources: Gallup/oe24 16-03-13
Karmasin/heute 15-03-13
Meinungsraum/NEWS 14-03-13
Market/Standard 11-03-13
Gallup/oe24 07-03-13

 

1 Comment

Filed under Austrian Politics, Politics

Small tremors from regional elections hit national poll ratings


The State elections in Lower Austria and Kärnten, held on the 3rd March 2013, have produced only small tremors but as yet no earthquake in the national opinion polls. However the political analysis of the aftermath, combined with the coverage of infighting and reassessments in some parties, may well accelerate various trends in the coming weeks.

For the SPÖ (Social Democrats) the big win in Kärnten has contributed to a small percentage point movement upwards giving them 28% and 28% in the two polls since the elections.

Retaining its absolute majority in Lower Austria has seen the ÖVP (conservatives) consolidate its position as the second party in the polls with 24% & 25% respectively.

The crisis ridden FPÖ (far-Right) will probably be pleased that after the catastrophe in Kärnten and the poor performance in Lower Austria that their share of the vote has not significantly dropped, scoring 21% and 20%. However, even before the disaster of 3rd March they had already seen their position eroding over the last twelve months. Their leadership will be holding even more crisis meetings if (as seems quite likely) their poll ratings move regularly below the 20% mark.

Despite some progress in the two State elections the Green party (centre-left) will be concerned that the national polls have them back on 13% and 13%. This is up on their last general election performance of 10.4% but is down on the 15% they were scoring in some polls a few months ago.

Team Stronach (populist – right of centre) had particularly high levels of press coverage in the two State elections but only scored moderate results of 9.8% in Lower Austria and 11.2% Kärnten. The coverage and results have given them a 2 point boost nationally, 11% and 10%.

The story of the other party currently in the Austrian Federal parliament, the BZÖ, still looks like one of slow death. However, the coverage of the campaign in Kärnten has given them a 1 point lift 3% and 2% in the two most recent polls.

Current average based upon last five polls:

SPÖ: 27.6%, ÖVP: 24.6%, FPÖ 21.4%, Greens 13.0%, Team Stronach: 9.6%, BZÖ 1.8%, Others 2.0%

Percentage variation across last five polls:

SPÖ: 27%-28%, ÖVP: 24%-25%, FPÖ 20%-23%, Greens 12%-14%, Team Stronach: 8%-11%, BZÖ 1%-3%

 

Related story: Will history see 3rd March 2013 as the date when the Austrian Far-Right began its fall into oblivion?

 

Poll sources:

Market/Standard 11-03-13
Gallup/oe24 07-03-13
Karmasin/profil 23-02-13
Gallup/oe24 23-02-13
IMAS/Krone 13-02-13

 

 
 
 

Poll sources:

1 Comment

Filed under Austrian Politics, Politics