Tag Archives: Österreich Spricht

Voters continue to abandon Far-Right


In my last blog post looking at Austrian voting intentions I asked the question as to whether the summer polls indicated the beginning of the end for the Far-Right parties in Austria.

Well the question remains open but the most recent polls continue to show the FPÖ now back in third place with their vote further declining from the high watermark achieved earlier this year and the BZÖ heading for the dustbin of political history.

Polls Av Now Jan-12 Change
SPO 28.80% 28.60% 0.20%
OVP 22.20% 23.80% -1.60%
FPO 20.40% 26.60% -6.20%
Greens 14.20% 13.60% 0.60%
BZO 2.60% 4.80% -2.20%
Others 11.60% 2.60% 9.00%

 

The yet to be launched party of Austro-Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach continues to rise in the polls with the last Gallup poll giving his party 10%. My average of polls in which his party is specifically included confirms this upward trend and now puts them above the Austrian Pirate Party for the first time. The Pirates, after making an initial splash with some polls showing them in the low teens, are now in serious decline with the last Gallup poll giving them only 2% support.

Pirates 4.20%
Stronach 7.60%

 

Stronach and Österreich Spricht  (Austria Speaks citizens’ initiative) are both due to launch political parties this month and with other groupings likely to come forward the many anti-establishment/alternative/change voters are going to have far more choice. Polling suggests that Stronach’s grouping in particular has the potential to strip away significant numbers from the scandal ridden FPÖ.

The next three months will set the battlegrounds for next year’s general election. It’s going to be a fascinating time for observers of the political scene here in Austria. For many in Austrian political parties they may be about to understand why the Chinese saying ‘May you live in interesting times’ is not generally considered a complement.

 

Average ratings across five recent opinion   polls
Polls GE 2008 Change
SPO 28.80% 29.3% -0.50%
OVP 22.20% 26% -3.80%
FPO 20.40% 17.5% 2.90%
Greens 14.20% 10.4% 3.80%
BZO 2.60% 10.7% -8.10%
Others 11.60% 6.1% 5.50%
Note 1: Pirates only   appeared separately in Gallup polls
Note 2: Stronach only   apears in Gallup & Karmasin polls
Note 3: Pirates/Stronach   incorporated into Others in above table until they appear in all polls

 

Sources: Gallup   01-09-12
Market/Standard 31-08-12
Gallup 25-08-12
Karmasin/Profil 25-08-12
Gallup 18-08-12

 

 

 

 

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How many Liberal Parties can you have?


A liberal faction has split from the Austrian Pirates Party and formed a new party the Real Democrats Austria (RDO) . The split comes at a time when the Pirates have fallen in the polls from the low teens at the beginning of summer down to 2% in the latest (Gallup) poll out this week.

This latest addition to the growing number of new parties joining the Austrian political scene – I count at least five this year – describes themselves as:

  • Our policy direction is clearly socially liberal, liberal civic and sustainable. Liberal, in the very word form.

Later this month the Österreich Spricht  (Austria Speaks) citizens’ initiative will be launching a political party which will:

  •  Target ‘homeless Liberals’
  • Be a ‘liberal political party’
  • New party drawing in support from those with formerly ‘green, black, red and Liberal‘ backgrounds.
  • Believes it can secure 10% of the popular vote at next general election in 2013

Austria ready has a Liberal party, Liberal Forum (LIF) who are members of the ELDR. Not currently represented in the national parliament the Party:

  •  Will stand in the 2013 election either as a single party or part of a likeminded platform
  • Their party leader in answer to the question, during an interview with neuwal.com, of where the LIF stands on the political spectrum where 0 (right) and 10 (left) replied that people probably see them as 7 (left) but they’d like to be seen as more 5 (middle).

On the Obama v Romney question (see my blog post) the response was Obama.

We also have a fourth Liberal party, JuLis. This group of Young Liberals broke away from LIF back in 2009. They are:

  •  An independent political party and faction Austrian Students Union
  • They concentrate their efforts on Student politics
  • Although their core principles are a broad Liberal statement their emphasis on the free market would probably align them more within the ‘Orange Book’ wing of the Lib Dem’s in the UK.

So that’s at least four overtly ‘Liberal’ groupings, of various shades, competing for Liberal and progressive votes and none of them in the current national parliament of Austria. Within that parliament ‘Liberal’ voters have primarily given their support and/or lent their vote to the Greens (social Liberals) & the conservative ÖVP (economic Liberals) and to a lesser extent the Social Democrats – SPÖ (social Liberals) & right-wing BZÖ (economic Liberals). Polling suggests many of these voters might be willing to switch but it’s going to be a noisy, crowded market place.

Finally there is of course one other potentially ‘liberal vote’ seeking party about to be launched, the yet to be named party of Austro-Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach. He will have the money and the platform. The question remains is his Party to be a Liberal or Conservative learning grouping?

The neuwal.com site is running a series of summer interviews with representatives of many of Austria’s smaller parties. Interesting further reading here.

 

 

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Filed under Austrian Politics, Liberal Politics, Politics