Austrian politics in going through a significant period of change, what the new ‘norm’ will look like is very much open to question. That’s why this week’s EU election matters to the Parties more than ever. The general election last September marked the end of the paradigm that has dominated politics here in recent years; the EU election marks the first battle in a struggle for a place in the newly emerging political landscape.
Even before the EU election results are announced the Parties will begin their efforts to spin the results. To help you make sense of the chatter, here is a quick guide to what a good, average or even disastrous result will be for each of the Parties in Austria:
Governing Grand Coalition
The larger of the two parties that form the ruling ‘Grand Coalition’, the Social Democrats are currently polling at around the same figure as they achieved at the last EU election. To date they have had a good election with their poll ratings up since January.
Good result: Securing 1st place in the polls but with a lower percentage than secured in last year’s General Election.
Bad result: 2nd place with lower percentage than secured in last EU election.
Great result: 1st place in the polls but with 27% or more share of the vote.
Disastrous result: 3rd place.
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 24.4% is down 5.6% on that election result. Since January their polling average has dropped by 1%.
Good result: Retaining 1st place.
Bad result: Coming 2nd with a lower share of the vote than secured in the 2013 General Election.
Great result: Retaining 1st place with a share of the vote above 25%.
Disastrous result: Dropping to 3rd place or 2nd with either NEOS or Greens securing 15% vote share.
Progressive Alternatives (Click for blog post)
The Greens are currently 3.4% up on their last EU election result but have remained unchanged in the polls when compared to January.
Good result: Retaining fourth place and matching their share of the vote in last Septembers General Election.
Bad result: Slipping into fifth place.
Great result: Securing a 15% or more share of the vote.
Disastrous result: Securing less than 12% of the vote and coming fifth.
The Liberal Centrist party broke into the national parliament at the first attempt last September with just under 5% of the vote. Suffered a bad penultimate week of campaigning but looks to be bouncing back in final days. They share with the SPÖ the status of having increase vote share in the polls since January.
Good result: More than doubling their share of the vote compared with the last General Election.
Bad result: Securing less than 10% share of the vote. (Given polling figure in last 6 months anything less would be seen as underperforming)
Great result: Securing fourth place or achieving 15% vote share.
Disastrous result: Securing less than 7% share of the vote.
Currently up by 7.7% on the last EU election (when the List Martin stole the anti-government show and the BZÖ remained a real political force) the FPÖ has seen its average poll rating slip (-2%) compared to its New Year performance.
Good result: Securing 2nd place.
Bad result: 3rd place with a vote share below 25% (Party has no serious Populist competitors this time and last EU election EU-sceptic populists secured 34.96%)
Great result: 1st place with over 25% share of vote.
Disastrous result: 3rd place with a vote share of under 21%
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%.
Good result: Securing 6th place and 4% vote share.
Bad result: Securing 6th place with less than 3.5% of vote
Great result: Anything over 4%
Disastrous result: Failing to achieve 6th place.
The Reform Conservatives like the BZÖ remain an ‘also run’, stuck on 1%.
Good result: Securing +3% vote share
Bad result: Less than 3% vote share
Great result: Securing 6th place
Disastrous result: Achieving less than 1% vote share.
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.
Good result: Securing 1% of vote share.
Bad result: Less than 1% of vote share
Great result: +1% of vote share
Disastrous result: n/a
The other alternative
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%.)
Good result: Securing 6th place
Bad result: Less than 3% vote share.
Great result: Achieving 4% vote share.
Disastrous result: Less than 2.5% vote share.