Tag Archives: Austrian Opinion Polls

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.

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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.

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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NEOS makes debut in national opinion polls


It’s been a busy week of press coverage for one of Austria’s new parties, NEOS (and its electoral allies), culminating with their first mention in a national opinion poll (Karmasin published in Heute):

SPÖ – 27%; ÖVP – 24%; FPÖ – 20%; Greens – 14%; BZÖ – 2%; Team Stronach – 9%; NEOS – 2%

It may not be earth shattering but for a grouping with limited resources, which have gradually been raising their profile, it is a major jump forward. They will be hoping to build on the media coverage and their growing organisation to push these poll ratings towards the 10% they are aiming to achieve come the national elections.

Pinks is also attractive with Liberal Green

NEOS (party colour pink) has made the news this week with two major stories. First the new Liberal Centrist Party secured agreement on an electoral pact with the Liberal Forum (LIF). They already have working arrangements with the Liberal youth party (JuLis) and the new pact brings together Liberal groupings into a single electoral platform using the short name of Neos and longer ballot paper name Neos – Austria and New Liberal Forum.

Here are links to interviews from a Neos, LIF, and JuLis perspective (in German but Google translate works well enough):

NEOS – Matthias Strolz

LIF – Angelika Mlinar

Julis – Claudia Gamon

The second headline grabbing story was the defection of four Greens, all described as high ranking members of Green Economy – association of Green entrepreneurs linked to the Green party.

National news interview

Also this week Matthias Strolz (NEOS) and Christopher Clay (Pirate Party) were interviewed by Armin Wolf on ZIB2. neuwal have produced a transcript of the interviews (again in German but Google translate can help).

So Liberal, Green, Conservative lite, Centrist?

A few weeks ago I was hearing/reading of NEOS described as conservative lite. This week the accusations have included a LIF front and Green by another name.

The reality would seem to be a broad liberal movement drawing support from economic and social liberals, liberal greens, and centrists of left and right shades – a new type of movement in Austrian politics.

Who will win?

Austrian politics has had a well established party pattern. With NEOS, the Pirate Party and (even) the creation of Austro-Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach, Team Stronach, voters will not be short of something new and different.

The questions are who (if any) of the ‘new’ will capture the public’s imagination? Will people power and new ways of campaigning win out for NEOS, or the Pirate Party? Will Franks millions be the key factor? Or simply will it be the established parties with State Party Funding, well tested traditional campaign organisations, and established brands win out?

 Karmasin poll published in Heute 15th March 2013

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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:

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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

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Referendum win gives conservatives momentum in the polls


Two polls this weekend show the (conservative) ÖVP narrowing the gap on its Grand Coalition governing partner the SPÖ (Social Democrats):

Karmasin

Gallup

SPÖ

27%

27%

ÖVP

26%

25%

FPÖ

21%

21%

Greens

13%

13%

Team Stronach

7%

9%

BZÖ

2%

1%

 

Overall the effect of the Conscription referendum battle, which pitched the two governing parties against each other (and to all intensive purposes sidelined the opposition parties), has been to strengthen the poll ratings of the Coalition which has now crept back above the 50% support mark to 51%.

Other (realistic) coalition oppositions based upon current average poll figures are:

ÖVP/Greens/SPÖ – 64.6%

TS/ ÖVP/ SPÖ – 59.8%

FPÖ/ TS/ ÖVP – 53.4%

The average of the five most recent polls confirms the upward trend of the ÖVP and the downward movement of one of Austria’s newest political parties, Team Stronach:

Polls Av Now

1st Jan ’13

Change

SPO

27.00%

27.00%

0.00%

OVP

24.00%

22.80%

1.20%

FPO

20.60%

20.80%

-0.20%

Greens

13.60%

14.00%

-0.40%

BZO

2.40%

1.60%

0.80%

Team Stronach

8.80%

10.6%

-1.80%

Others

3.60%

3.20%

0.40%

 

Since the launch of Austro-Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach’s party on the 27th September 2012, Team Stronach has lost 2.2% support. This is against the backdrop of pre-launch higher ratings, massive media exposure, and significant spending on advertising.

The Far-Right FPÖ will be relieved to see their vote stabilising after a period of decline. However, they are 6% down in the polls compared to the beginning of 2012 and are seeing voters switch from Team Stronach to the ÖVP rather back to them.

Based upon the last five polls in which they were specially identified, the Austrian Pirate Party are averaging 1.2%.

 

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